South LA Grocer Sentenced In EBT Fraud Case
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A South Los Angeles grocer paid more than $190,000 in restitution as part of his sentence for fraudulently using EBT cards, county prosecutors announced Friday.
Sabino Reynoso Cedano, 62, was sentenced two years probation and ordered to perform 240 hours of community service after he pleaded no contest last June to one count of food and nutrition benefits fraud, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Cedano also turned over a check for $192,199 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of restitution in the case.
According to prosecutors, Cedano – who owned two small grocery stores – bought Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards from welfare recipients at a cut rate, then used the cards to purchase items, such as chips and sodas, from other markets to stock his shelves and resell them at higher prices.
Cedano later admitted he had been buying groceries for his stores using the scheme for a year, prosecutors said.
According to county regulations, EBT cards are issued to those who apply for aid through the Los Angeles County Department of Social Services (DPSS). The amount placed on the cards is to be used only by the recipient to buy food, and they are not to be sold or used by anyone other than the recipient.