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Policy: Entitlements

Maryland store owners plead guilty to food stamp fraud

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Maryland,Associated Press,Entitlements,Food Stamps

BALTIMORE — A Windsor Mill couple has pleaded to food stamp fraud in a plot to redeem the benefits in exchange for cash.

Fifty-year-old Amara Cisse and his wife, 45-year-old Fanta Keita, entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Baltimore.

According to their plea agreements, Cisse owned Simbo Food Mart in Baltimore and Keita worked there with her husband. Prosecutors say Cisse became an authorized retailer in the SNAP program, which was previously known as food stamps.

Authorities say from November 2010 to May 2013, Cisse and Keita exchanged SNAP benefits for cash at less than face value of the benefits. The two obtained more than $600,000 in payments for food sales that never occurred.

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