Record breaking arrests have been made in what is being called the largest case of food stamp fraud ever seen in the history of the program. Federal and state authorities have arrested a husband and wife team, Brandon and Kimberly Sapp, and charged them with being the ringleaders of the crime spree. The couple set up at least 18 fake grocery stores throughout the state of Georgia in Atlanta, Macon, Marietta, Lithonia, LaGrange, Stone Mountain, Riverdale and Savannah in predominately black neighborhoods. The scheme involved the alleged illegal purchase of more than $18 million worth of benefits between December 2009 and December 2012.
Once the fake stores were set up, it was then that the couple had their team go door to door asking people if they wanted to trade their food stamps and WIC vouchers for cash. Federal and state authorities opened an investigation that lasted longer than two years because of the scope of the food stamp fraud operation. U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver said “When you steal from the federal government, it’s theft. These are programs that were provided by Congress to provide nutritional food assistance to the most needy in our society.”
Now more than 70 arrests have been made in the investigation. These arrests include 30 people indicted for selling their food stamps and WIC vouchers. Georgia’s public health commissioner Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald stated “This is a huge deal for Georgia … this is unacceptable behavior. This will not be tolerated in Georgia.” Continue to see the list of those arrested.