HARTFORD - A former employee at a Connecticut grocery store has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for his role in a $3 million food stamp fraud scheme.
The Republican-American reports that Tallat Mahmood, of Waterbury, pleaded guilty to unlawful use of food stamp benefits in federal court. In addition to his prison term, he was ordered Wednesday to pay $1.5 million in restitution.
A federal agent, with help from an informant, went undercover for nearly two years to document Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program fraud at the W.B. Trade Fair Supermarket.
Authorities say store employees, including Mahmood, illegally allowed customers to swap their food stamps for cigarettes and glass smoking pipes.
Sometimes customers were allowed to cash in their benefits for half of their value.