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Grocer pleads guilty to food stamp fraud in Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) An employee of a Connecticut grocery has pleaded guilty to unlawful use of food stamps.

Tahir Shahzad, from New York, pleaded guilty in Hartford's federal court on Monday, the U.S. Attorney's office told the Hartford Courant. He has been convicted alongside two other employees charged with the same crimes. Raul Carlos Monarca-Gonzalez, one of the three, has been sentenced to more than two years in prison. Shahzad and Tallat Mahmood are both currently awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutors said the grocery employees illegally allowed customers to redeem food stamps for cash and other ineligible items like cigarettes and hookahs for a period of two years. Shahzad charged the food stamp cards double the cost of the ineligible items, making a fraudulent profit.



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