The owners of an Ohio butcher shop pleaded guilty Friday to 25 counts of food stamp fraud totaling $3.4 million.
A jury in a Dayton, Ohio, federal court found Michael and Amanda Busch guilty on all counts of food stamp fraud, including wire fraud and conspiracy to steal government funds, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The couple was found guilty of carrying out a scheme where they would trade cash for food stamp benefits handed out through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) between April 2010 and May 2018.
Investigators raided the store, Busch’s Country Corner, in May 2018 and collected financial records and security camera footage as part of a warrant.
Federal investigators say that out of the 195,000 SNAP transactions completed at the store over eight years, two-thirds of them were fraudulent.
A sentencing date for the couple has yet to be announced.
Food stamp fraud has become a criminal enterprise among convenience store owners trying to make a quick buck and is one of the ways the federal government loses billions of dollars each year.
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report from 2019 found that criminals were responsible for trafficking at least $1 billion in food stamp benefits, a steep cost to the taxpayer.
But federal agents have been able to recover some of the money through targeted raids and busts. Some of the biggest food stamp fraud busts of 2018 ranged in the tens of millions of dollars.