Empire man sentenced in $1 million food stamp fraud

local@modbee.comMay 6, 2013 

— An Empire man was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for food stamp fraud, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Mark Edward Powell, 63, defrauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture's food stamp program for $1 million as the owner of Santa Fe Discount, a minimarket in Empire.

From April 2009 to August 2011, Powell would "cash out" EBT cards for cash rather than for eligible food products as required by law.

Powell had EBT cardholders purchase overpriced food products, then give the remaining dollar amount on the card to the cardholder while keeping a percentage for himself.

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