Four men charged in $1.6M Illinois fraud case -

Four men charged in $1.6M Illinois fraud case

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By Adam McDonald By Adam McDonald

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) -- Federal authorities have charged two southwestern Illinois men who they say fraudulently received $1.6 million in food stamp benefits.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports the Swansea men are charged with illegal efforts to obtain the benefits, as well as aiding in the preparation of false tax returns and trafficking counterfeit goods.

The indictment says they owned two Garden Grill Market stores in East St. Louis and conspired to illegally pay cash at about 50 cents on the dollar for the benefits. It says they received the $1.6 million in electronic fund transfers to bank accounts.

Two other men from St. Louis and Belleville are charged with conspiracy to acquire the benefits. All four men face up to five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine if convicted of the food stamp charges.

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