Riverhead - (WALK) A pair of Long Island convenience store owners are accused of cheating U.S. taxpayers out of more than $600,000, --in a "food stamps" scam, according to state prosecutors.
Ravinder Parkash, 59, and is wife Prabha Rani, 58, both of Riverhead, charged phantom purchases on Federal Supplemental Nutrition Program debit cards at their store on East Main Street, then split the take with more than 24 card-holders.
The pair were arraigned Thursday at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead, and were charged with crimes including grand larceny, money laundering, falsifying business records, and conspiracy. Parkash pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $250,000 bail or $500,000 bond. Bail for Rani was set at $100,000 or $250,000 bond. She and Parkash are scheduled to return to court on July 9.
If convicted, Parkash (pictured) faces up to 15 years in prison; Rani faces up to four years in prison. The card-holders each face up to four years in prison, according to prosecutors. (photo: Riverhead NewsReview)
BACK ON LONG ISLAND… A PAIR of CONVENIENCE-STORE OWNERS in Riverhead ARE ACCUSED OF CHEATING U.S. TAX-PAYERS OUT OF MORE THAN HALF-A-MILLION DOLLARS, --IN A FOOD-STAMPS SCAM. PROSECUTORS SAY THE COUPLE CHARGED PHANTOM PURCHASES ON GOVERNMENT SUPLEMENTAL-NUTRITION DEBIT CARDS, THEN SPLIT THE TAKE WITH THE CARD-HOLDERS. IF CONVICTED, THE COUPLE FACE UP TO FOUR-YEARS IN PRISON.