A husband and wife in Arizona were sentenced this week in a $2.3 million food stamp scam – the largest in the state’s history.
The couple, 44-year-old Bernard Lee-Uh and 33-year-old Monica Lee-Uh, were the owners of Nicben African Caribbean Market in Glendale. Lee-Uh and his wife, according to the investigation, would fraudulently charge the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) for cash. They would then split the money with the food stamp recipient.
In total, $2.3 million in fraudulent charges were made between November of 2010 and March of 2014. According to reports, food stamps sales at the couple’s store totaled $75,000 in June of 2010. Other stores nearby averaged only $3,000 to $5,000 per month in food stamp sales. The couple was caught thanks to a witness who made undercover purchases at the store in 2012 and 2013.
Lee-Uh was sentenced on April 10th to four years in prison for charges of fraudulent schemes and artifices, unlawful use of food stamps and money laundering. Monica was sentenced to two years probation for one count of fraudulent schemes and artifices.
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The couple was also ordered to pay back the money they stole from the SNAP program.
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