A former Delaware convenience store owner will spend the next 14 months in prison, starting next week, for carrying out a $1.7 million food stamp fraud scheme.
A judge sentenced Debasish Muhuri to prison last month after he pleaded guilty in June to a charge of unauthorized use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
Prosecutors dropped the other three charges against him but ordered Muhuri to pay back the $1.7 million he stole from the federal government.
Prosecutors say the scheme was the largest instance of SNAP fraud in Delaware’s history.
Muhuri and his wife co-owned the “Mama” and “Mama Convenient/Uniform” convenience stores in Wilmington.
Officials say Muhuri allowed customers to trade their food stamps for cash, paying them half of what they were worth. Muhiri then redeemed the full value of the benefits when reporting them to the federal government and pocketed the extra money.
Many shopkeepers who have been found guilty of engaging in similar schemes have also paid big time for their crimes.
In 2018, several convicted food stamp fraudsters were ordered to pay millions back to the federal government for operating schemes allowing food stamp recipients to trade their benefits for cash.