|Published:||Sep 10, 2013 5:49 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 10, 2013 5:51 PM EDT|
LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Investigators say the owner of a meat and seafood company embezzled more than $1 million through food stamp fraud.
Michael Schnatter is accused of paying cash for the cards.
Brand new details, uncovered Tuesday, show in some of the cases the people who sold the electronic benefit transfer cards did so with other people's names on the cards.
According to the report, the fraud involving Schnatter continued for four years, and involved some of his employees as well as sub contractors.
New documents obtained by WINK News show Michael Schnatter the owner of Blue Ribbon Steak and Seafood, racked up transactions of nearly $1,200,000 using EBT cards.
Your tax dollars pay for those cards, which act as food stamps for needy families. Selling them breaks a federal law.
An undercover Lee County Sheriff's Office operation showed Schnatter and some of his employees paid cash for EBT cards, at half of what they were worth.
Then they would swipe the cards to make it look like a transaction for meat and seafood. Only, deputies say no food was ever sold, and the value of the card went right to the business.
Schnatter's arrest report says he would sometimes drive his work truck with an empty cooler while making transactions.
On Monday only WINK News confronted Schnatter about the allegations but he drove away in a work truck.
In the back, there's a sticker saying "We Accept EBT."
During the course of the investigation, deputies went through his trash, and placed a GPS tracking device on his car.
After his arrest, Schnatter admitted he did this to make a profit and was introduced to the scheme through his employees.
When asked what his plan was moving forward he said "I was going to try to stop".
The report says Schnatter would receive 20 percent from each transaction processed through his terminal. It also says a search warrant on his home uncovered more incriminating evidence supporting EBT card fraud.