Seattle business owner sentenced for food stamp fraud

Seattle business owner sentenced for food stamp fraud

Seattle business owner sentenced for food stamp fraud

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on December 12, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 11 at 10:41 AM

SEATTLE – The owner of a Seattle grocery store was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison for food stamp fraud, a case profiled by the KING 5 Investigators.

Elsa Kwong, 46, pleaded guilty in March to defrauding the food stamp program.

Kwong will also spend three years on supervised release and pay nearly $1.5 million in restitution for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program fraud.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Kwong’s store, Seattle Chinese Herb & Grocery, was a hub for food stamp fraud until it was raided by federal investigators last year.

"At a time when federal programs such as food stamps are stretched thin meeting real needs, this type of fraud rips the fabric of our safety net," said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.

Kwong also must forefeit two vehicles and nearly $170,000 that was taken from her bank account on the day of the raid.

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