Friday, May 6, 2011
James Norvell Fitch Jr.: Quick Shop Owner Sentenced for Food Stamp Fraud
By Chad Garrison
on Fri, May 6, 2011 at 9:09 AM
Fitch, 49, pleaded guilty in January to running the scheme out of the former T.R. Corner Store on South Grand and the 14th Street Market and Deli in north city.
According to federal prosecutors, Fitch knowingly allowed customers to charge items to their food stamps that are not allowed under the subsidy program, such as alcohol, tobacco, electronics and clothing. Moreover, Fitch also allowed customers to redeem their food stamps for cash at a premium, in which he'd pay them less than a dollar-to-dollar value.
A store manager who worked for Fitch -- Brian Stanberry -- also pleaded guilty in January to similar charges. He awaits sentencing.
James Norvell Fitch Jr. of Florissant was sentenced to eighteen months in prison yesterday and ordered to pay back $400,000 for allowing fraudulent food-stamp transactions at two quick shop/delis he owned and operated in St. Louis between 2006 and 2008.