The lady, owner of J&W Aseda Plaza, a convenience store on Main Street in the city, bought Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) funds from people.
A Ghanaian woman living in Worcester has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges in connection to the theft of $3.6million in food stamp benefits after she allegedly created numerous bank accounts and bought benefits from eligible people for less than full value.
Vida Ofori Causey, 45, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit SNAP benefits fraud, one count of SNAP fraud and one count of money laundering in U.S. District Court Monday. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts said Causey committed the fraud over four years.
Causey, the owner of J&W Aseda Plaza, a convenience store on Main Street in the city, bought Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) funds from people. Authorities said she paid 50 cents for every SNAP dollar. The SNAP program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was formerly called the food stamp program.
SNAP money allows people to buy food at authorized vendors. Authorities said Causey would instead buy the SNAP dollars at a cheaper price and then have the USDA electronically deposit the money into bank accounts she owned. After paying 50 cents for a SNAP dollar, Causey would receive the full face value in her accounts.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said she defrauded the USDA out of ₵13,736,847.50 ( $3,638,900) in SNAP funds.