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Fish Market Owner Pleads Guilty to $1.4 Million Food Stamp Fraud

A man who owns an established fish market in upstate New York has pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud charges.

Irving Feldman, 61, of Pittsford, pleaded guilty to $1.4 million in food stamp fraud schemes in U.S. District Court in Rochester on Friday, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.

Feldman faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to New York state federal officials.

Feldman operated Upstate Fish, a fish market in Rochester started by his father, Jack, under the name “Jack’s Modern Fish Market.”

Jack, a holocaust survivor, had a Hanukkah dinner with the Obamas and the president of Israel at the White House, Time Warner Cable News reported.

Feldman was accused of two different schemes: one that was more than $1.2 million and the other more than $200,000.

In the first scheme, he illegally bought $1,227,063 worth of food stamps from willing recipients for less than half their face value between January 2010 and October 2015, according to a news release from New York state federal officials.

The recipients received cash while Feldman redeemed the food stamps with the government for their full value.

“This fish market owner was caught running a food stamp fraud scheme that was truly breathtaking in scale,” state Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said.

In the second $202,000 scheme, he convinced food stamp recipients to buy fish from other retail markets using their benefit cards and sell the fish to him at deeply discounted prices.

The recipients got cash while Feldman got fish he could sell for a profit.

His sentencing date is March 14, 2017.

Other cases related to food stamp fraud have peppered the news recently.

An Ohio millionaire was indicted on four felony counts of food stamp fraud Wednesday and a New Jersey shopkeeper pleaded guilty to $1 million in food stamp fraud.

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