Passaic County police arrested the owner of a pizzeria in Paterson NJ and charged him with committing food stamp fraud.
According to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, the suspect and his wife operate Piccolo’s Pizza & Liquors on Main Street in Paterson, New Jersey. The husband and wife suspects are accused of defrauding the government by buying food stamps at a discounted price. This is a violation of several statutes which stipulate that food stamps can only be purchased by specific individuals who have been approved by the government.
The suspects allegedly bought the food stamps for 60 cents on the dollar and then used then to purchase personal items and supplies for their pizza restaurant.
The pizzeria owners allegedly committed the fraud between January 2015 and February 2016. According to authorities, the suspects purchased food stamps from customers who had received the food stamps electronically from the Passaic County Board of Social Services.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit and the North East Regional Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Agriculture worked together on the investigation after getting a tip from the Passaic County Board of Social Services. Investigators eventually determined that enough evidence existed to arrest and charge the suspects.
The male suspect is 66 years old and the female suspect is 69 years old. They are married to each other and reside in North Haledon, NJ.
The suspects have been charged with several crimes, including food stamp fraud, conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud, theft by deception, and conspiracy to commit theft by deception.
For more information about this case, see the NJ.com article, “Pizzeria Owner and Wife Accused of Food Stamp Fraud.”