Thursday, January 20, 2011

St. Louis Quick Shop Owner and Manager Plead Guilty to Food-Stamp Scam

Posted By on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 11:03 AM

click to enlarge T.R. Corner Store at 3935 S. Grand
  • T.R. Corner Store at 3935 S. Grand
The owner of two St. Louis convenience stores and one of his managers pleaded guilty this week to a food-stamp scam that defrauded the government of $400,000.

According to federal authorities, James Norvell Fitch Jr. of Florissant operated T.R. Corner Store on South Grand and 14th Street Market and Deli in north city from 2006 to 2008. Brian Stanberry, now of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was hired to manage the store on 14th street. During that time, the two men conspired to redeem food-stamp purchases for items not allowed through the govenrmental-assistance program, including cigarettes, liquor, electronics, clothing and cash.

Per the U.S. Attorney's Office:
Fitch and Stanberry regularly redeemed EBT cards for unauthorized items, including cash, and charged higher than retail prices for many unqualified items, so cash was provided less than dollar-for-dollar value.
Fitch faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. Stanberry faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000, per count. They are to be sentenced in May.

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