Former Food Stamp Fraud Investigator to Plead Guilty to Extortion

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: A grocery store advertises that they accept food stamps in the South Bronx on September 19, 2013 in New York City. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau report, over a quarter-million people in the South Bronx are living in poverty, making the 16th …
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KATHERINE RODRIGUEZ

A former food stamp fraud investigator in Mississippi struck a plea deal with prosecutors Wednesday, agreeing to plead guilty to extortion charges for a lesser sentence.

Frank Saddler, the former director of special investigations for the Mississippi Department of Human Services, filed a notice in federal court Wednesday letting the court know of his intent to plead guilty to the charges.

Authorities charged Saddler in October with extortion for bilking money from convenience store owners who committed food stamp fraud between 2012 and 2014.

When Saddler worked for the state investigating food stamp fraud, his job was to investigate schemes where convenience store owners would allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to exchange their benefits for cash or purchase items not allowed to be purchased with food stamps, such as cigarettes and alcohol.

But prosecutors say Saddler carried out fraudulent schemes like the ones he was supposed to stop, by using his authority as an official with the Mississippi Department of Human services for financial gain.

Saddler could face up to 20 years behind bars and be required to pay a $250,000 fine plus the money obtained from the scheme, if he is convicted.

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