LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Three additional people have been charged and arraigned in connection to the multi-million-dollar interstate food stamp fraud ring, Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Friday.
Charles Williams, 35; Darian Palmer, 22; and Rashawn Stewart, 24, all of Detroit, each face one count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, a 20-year-felony, and five counts of Food Stamp Fraud.
Three other people were initially arraigned on felony charges in May in connection with the fraud operation.
The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation under the new Organized Retail Crime (ORC) Unit, established in January this year, which works with MSP as the “FORCE Team.”
The alleged food stamp fraud ring is accused of illegally obtaining electronic benefit (EBT) card data from 8,000 cardholders outside Michigan, primarily from California.
They illegally reproduced EBT cards in Michigan with the stolen data, then used them for fraudulent purchases from several Metro Detroit Sam’s Club stores.
“Highly orchestrated organized retail crime costs Michigan businesses and consumers millions of dollars each year,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel.
Michigan’s ORC Unit and ‘FORCE’ Team are working with retailers on multiple investigations, each of which involves millions of dollars in retail fraud in theft.