Guam – Two individuals have accepted a plea deal with the federal government in a food stamp fraud case.
Singeo Singenes and Innocencia Esirom pleaded guilty to wire fraud and unauthorized use of food stamp benefits. The conviction carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Singenes and Esirom were indicted for allowing food stamp recipients to pay off their S&I Mart store credit accounts with SNAP funding. The illegal transactions, which transpired from March 2011 to September 2013, involved a total of $490,000.
Court documents state that the defendants charged SNAP recipients bloated prices for merchandise purchased on credit. They also tacked on late fees if the food stamp recipients failed to pay their credit balances at the beginning of each month.
Singenes and Esirom were also accused of keeping card holder information to scam the government for more money. The complaint states they used old receipts, EBT cards and personal identification numbers to process fraudulent EBT transactions. To conceal their scheme, multiple EBT transactions would be made within minutes from the actual card holder’s transaction.
The plea agreements require Singenes and Esirom to pay restitution to “any victim of the offense.”