W.Va. Store Owner Convicted in Food Stamp Scheme

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A former Huntington convenience store owner has admitted participating in an illegal scheme to cash federal food stamps.

Prosecutors say 34-year-old Abe Eloirzazi faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for his guilty plea to defrauding the federal food stamp program.

Prosecutors say he and two co-defendants illegally redeemed about $127,000 worth of food stamp benefits at the store between June 2010 and February 2012.

The store has been closed permanently. The property is being surrendered to the city of Huntington under the defendant's plea agreement, under which he also must pay restitution.

Sentencing has been set for Dec. 10 in federal court in Huntington.

Co-defendants Stephanie Pauley and Cynthia Gibson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and face sentencing later this year.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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