Two plead guilty in food stamp fraud case

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(PNC photo)

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.”

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.