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Major fraud scheme raid occurs at fish market in Florida

A fish market in Florida was recently deemed the site of a massive fraud scheme involving food stamps. A raid took place at the market on a Wednesday morning. It occurred after law enforcement had reportedly discovered evidence that tied owners of kiosks at the market to the illegal fraud scheme.

Authorities said individuals would arrive at the fish market, where businesses would let them redeem food stamps for money. According to the police, the businesses were receiving a cut on each transaction. They essentially operated produce and food stands that really did not have any consumer goods for sale. Rather, these stands were allegedly used to exchange food stamps or other types of benefits for money.

The alleged scheme reportedly involved over $13 million in losses. According to officials, the seafood shops that carried out the scheme were really a front for an underground operation. A sign in the area indicated that food stamps were accepted there and that it offered fresh fish, but no food was available. A total of 28 people have been arrested in connection with the claimed fraud scheme, with seven others still at large.

When people are accused of fraud in Florida, they have the right to fight any criminal charges in court. At trial, the prosecution must prove the allegations by competent evidence and beyond a reasonable doubt. If this does not happen, no conviction is possible. A close look at the evidence that prosecutors plan to furnish in support of their allegations will be a major area of focus for the criminal defense in these types of criminal cases.

Source: wsvn.com, "Feds bust largest food stamp scam in U.S. at Opa-Locka flea mark", May 11, 2016

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