SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Two Sikeston, Missouri residents and store managers were sentenced on Wednesday, August 16 on federal charges involving food stamp fraud.
Larry White, Sr., 63, was sentenced to 33 months in prison and Erica White, 35, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison on charges of misusing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program.
According to court documents, the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division issues EBT cards for SNAP, more commonly known as food stamps. Authorized grocery retailers can only accept and redeem SNAP benefits for the sale of eligible food items. They are not permitted to exchange or redeem SNAP benefits for cash or other ineligible items such as household goods, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, cellular telephones or other non-food items.
Larry White was the manager of Stop-n-Go Fish Market in Sikeston and his daughter Erica White was the manager of Stop-n-Go Mini Mart Store in New Madrid. According to court documents, both admitted that they illegally redeemed up to $549,000 in SNAP benefits between December 2010 and March 2014 by exchanging SNAP benefits for cash and ineligible items.
Both pleaded guilty in May to multiple felony counts of unauthorized use of SNAP benefits and conspiracy. They appeared in court on Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr. in Cape Girardeau.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General-Investigations, Sikeston Department of Public Safety and the New Madrid County Sheriff's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony L. Franks is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.