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Contact: Steve Lowe, Senior Director, Office of Fraud and Accountability, steve.lowe@dshs.wa.gov
Contact: Mindy Chambers, Communications, mindy.chambers@dshs.wa.gov
February 12, 2014
Tacoma Store Owner Guilty of Food Stamp Fraud

OLYMPIA – The U.S. District Court in Tacoma has fined a Tacoma convenience store owner $120,000 in a food stamp trafficking case.


Sandra Flores, who earlier had pleaded guilty to one count of food stamp fraud, also was sentenced on January 31, 2014 to 30 days in federal custody and placed on three year' supervised release.


The case began in May 2012 when the Department of Social and Health Services’ Office of Fraud and Accountability (OFA) identified large Electronic Benefits Card food stamp transactions at La Popular Cash and Carry. Further analysis of transaction data revealed indicators of fraud.


Subsequent site surveillance confirmed that the Flores was purchasing EBT cards for cash, twice from an undercover police officer.


This case was investigated by OFA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Office of Inspector General and the Puyallup Police Department.


The Department takes its responsibility to detect and prosecute fraud very seriously. Individuals suspecting fraud may report it by calling 1-800-562-6906.


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DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.