Following the announcement of six local indictments alleging food stamp fraud, the manager of the Dale grocery store where the incidents are said to have occurred denied any wrongdoing.
Thelma Albany, manager of the Albany General Store, also said Friday investigators looking into the incidents did not properly identify themselves when they visited the establishment.
“We got no warning,” she said. “We are not the kind of people to do stupid things like that.”
Beaufort County residents Nikayla Heyward of Yemassee, Tonda Rivers of Beaufort and Seabrook residents Lavern Blanchard, Qunderia Coney, Shekia Robinson and Alton Warner were indicted on the charge of fraudulent acquisition or use of food stamps after their cases were brought before the grand juries by S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson, according to a news release from his office Thursday.
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We got no warning. We are not the kind of people to do stupid things like that.
Thelma Albany, manager of Albany General Store
Mark Powell, communications director for Wilson’s office, said Friday that all six indictments stemmed from the Albany General Store.
If convicted, the felony charges are punishable to a maximum of five years in prison or a fine of up to $500.
The indictments were sought after allegations that the grocery store allowed individuals to use their EBT cards containing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to obtain money or improper items instead of qualifying food purchases, the release said.
“We have no problem with them (customers) coming in to use their card for what they want to purchase,” Thelma Albany said.
She said the owner, identified on the grocery store’s web site as Lewis Albany, has not been charged in the cases. Lewis Albany could not be reached for comment.
Powell said Friday he could not elaborate on whether the store owner will be charged because the investigation is ongoing.