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Newark Man Admits Helping Scam $1.9M From Nutrition Aid Program

A Newark man admitted to helping rip off a food aid program of nearly $2 million.
A Newark man admitted to helping rip off a food aid program of nearly $2 million. Photo Credit: SNAP

A man who worked at a Newark grocery store admitted that he used the business to help defraud a federal aid program of $1.9 million, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Thursday. 

Jose Perdomo, 34, worked at M&R Supermarket, which his father Juan managed since the business opened in 2015. The supermarket was authorized to accept payment through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which issues electronic debit cards that can be used by low-income recipients to purchase food. 

Perdomo admitted exchanging SNAP benefits for cash, which is illegal. Undercover law enforcement exchanged benefits for cash with either Jose or Juan Perdomo 11 times, the U.S. Attorney said. 

The supermarket's bank account records showed withdrawals of more than $10,000 by Juan Perdomo and his wife Maria Rodriguez, as well as similarly large checks cashed by their son, Jose Perdomo, according to authorities. 

The Perdomos were charged in September with SNAP benefit fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The two were also charged, along with Rodriguez, of money laundering conspiracy. The charges against Juan Perdomo and Rodriguez are still pending. 

Jose Perdomo faces up to 20 years or more in prison when he's sentenced in August. He also may be issued hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. 

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