Irwinton Man Sentenced in Food Stamp Fraud Scheme

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Updated: Fri, 18 Oct 2013 09:47:07 EST

MACON, Ga. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say the owner of a grocery store in middle Georgia was sentenced Friday to 40 months in prison for his role in a large food stamp fraud scheme.

U.S. Attorney Michael Moore says 77-year-old Elbert Eugene Shinholster was also ordered to pay $4.6 million in restitution to the food stamp program. Shinholster pleaded guilty last year to food stamp fraud and money laundering.

Moore says Shinholster owned Shinholster's Grocery and Meat Market in Irwinton and acknowledged conspiring with nearly 2,000 food stamp recipients to defraud the program.

Authorities say Shinholster would debit customer's food stamp card as if the person purchased food but would receive cash instead, with 30 percent paid to Shinholster.

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