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New Jersey Convenience Store Owner Pleads Guilty to $840,000 Food Stamp Fraud Scheme

A New Jersey man pleaded guilty Monday to a food stamp fraud scheme that defrauded the government of more than $800,000.

Miguel Antonio Azcona of Irvington pleaded guilty in federal court to a single count of theft of government funds before U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper in Trenton, NJ Advance Media reports.

Azcona, 38, ran a scheme where customers at his Newark convenience store, New Community Supermarket on Springfield Avenue, would trade Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits for cash, prosecutors say.

Store employees would keep a percentage of the transaction for Azcona’s benefit, according to prosecutors.

Authorities say the scheme defrauded the government of $840,584.

Azcona faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for May 3.

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