PALMDALE – Three women who operated convenience stores in Palmdale and Littlerock are among 17 people charged in a food stamps-for-cash scam that allegedly defrauded the federal government out of an estimated $6 million, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Maria Teresa Ramirez, 37, is charged with eight counts of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) fraud; Yessica Raquel Garay, 37, faces two counts of SNAP fraud; and Maria Magdalena Salgado, 54, aka Maria Magdalena Gonzalez, is charged with seven counts of SNAP fraud.
The trio also are charged with one count each of conspiracy to defraud another of property and misappropriation of public funds. The charges include allegations of taking more than $500,000 through fraud and embezzlement.
From 2011 to 2017, Ramirez, Garay and Salgado are accused of illegally exchanging SNAP benefits, commonly known as food stamps, for cash, said Deputy District Attorney Michael Fern of the Cyber Crime Division. They allegedly charged fictitious SNAP-eligible purchases to the benefit cards and collected fees for the transactions.
Ramirez owned stores in Palmdale and Littlerock, and Salgado, who is Ramirez’s mother, also owned one store in Palmdale. Garay worked for Ramirez at her Palmdale store before taking over the business. The women are all Palmdale residents.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is named as a victim in the criminal complaint, conducted an investigation of these SNAP-authorized stores and determined their owners had engaged in SNAP fraud. The three local store operators and most of the other defendants were arrested Tuesday, April 2, by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation.
The 14 other people charged in the criminal complaint allegedly used their SNAP cards to receive cash at the stores. The case was filed for arrest warrant on March 27. Arraignment has not yet been scheduled for any of the 17 defendants.
If convicted as charged, Ramirez, Garay and Salgado face a possible maximum sentence of nine years in state prison. The other defendants face up to three years in county jail.
The prosecutor is recommending bail be set at $275,000 for Ramirez, Garay and Salgado, and at $20,000 for each of the other defendants.
The case remains under investigation by the Bureau of Investigation.
21 comments for "Palmdale, Littlerock store operators charged in $6 million food stamps scam"
Too funny. Build a wall. Jeeeze I can’t think of one way to get over or under a wall with or without a ladder or a shovel Build a wall. Waste of taxpayers money. Trump is just trying to give his construction buddies some of our tax dollars. Wake the f%^$ up you fox loving news hounds. I have an idea… why don’t they make it just a bit easier than impossible for people to legally migrate to the US of A. The color of your skin had nothing to do with your morals. There are people of every color that are trash. You all just need someone to hate. Simple minded people are afraid of different. Fear is what hate really is.
This is what happens when we allow 3rd world people in. BUILD THE WALL,!!!! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!! TRUMP 2020!!!,
Ron or McDonald, stop being a troll and keep your racist comments in your bathroom, next to your filthy toilet bowl. Use your brain and stop spewing phrases you hear of FAUX News, you SIMPLETON.
Right on, Ron!! If you love our country and don’t want it to become a third world $h!th0le they call you racist and worse. Racist, racist, racist. That’s all they have to make us feel guilty that they’re stealing our country.
KEEP AMERICA GREAT !!!!!!
Ron, they said that about the Irish and the Italians, and the…..
Trumpist#1, and the mighty English stole the country from who? Oh yeah, the indigenous peoples and traded with France, Spain, Russia, and Mexico for most of it. Such a proud history. LOL
1. The Irish and Italians wanted to assimilate, not take over.
2. Yeah, but it developed into the best, most exceptional country on Earth, and I don’t want to give it back to the third world.
Taciturn Trumpist says
Another simpleton…instead of sitting in front of your computer typing nonsense, take time to exercise or learn about our true U.S. history.
Ignorant thieves they are says
Give them each a six million dollar bill confiscate all their property and lock them up because you know they will take off to the Border
Your tax dollars at work…
Roger Dixon says
Hell no Roger! Who in the fark do you think pays for this?!?!?! Educate yourself, or shut up!!
Trump is right, give these Mexicans a chance to live the American dream and they chose a life of crime, this makes the hard working honest Mexican who is trying to become accepted by the white community look like a criminal because one rotten bean can spoil the whole pot
“accepted by the white community”, that’s hilarious!
Why do minorities need the acceptance of the white community? Who died and made you royalty? Give me a freaking break!!!! Also, I may suffer from reading comprehension issues, but someone please highlight where it is stated they were of Mexican descent or that they are undocumented. They could be Salvadorean, Honduran, Nicaraguan, etc., you remember? The same ones you are currently trying to keep out because they are pleading sanctuary because you are terrified of their brown behinds. I’d have more respect for you morons if you simply stated that you hate Hispanics, you are completely repulsive and ignorant.
There is only one shade of brown in my crayon box
Actually Moron McDonald, there are various shades. Do yourself a favor and keep your idiotic comments to yourself, everyone that reads your ignorant puns kills a few brain cells in the process. Ignorant fool, you even threw in the “bean” portion to close your racist statements with a bang. I can imagine your old sorry butt sitting in front of a computer, lonely as hell and hoping that your racism can help quench the empty and pathetic agony you call life!
Crayonbox?? Figures your a freakin child spouting off nonsense. Go to bed you racist lame.
Give Mac a break.
I mean it would depend upon the crayons.
If one were to obtain their crayons free of charge, perhaps from a local eatery as part of a child’s menu, it may indeed only have one brown.
However, to create anything special, you would require several browns in a crayon box.
The fact is, many find it acceptable using one boring brown crayon.
It does the job making the paper menu something worthy of the refrigerator, something only their mom says she likes, but very few others do.
Fox News told me that Mexico is actually 3 countries, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatamala. (duh).
Thats a felony! Frauding the system. I hope they serve the maximum sentence!
SNAP Fraud says
Your tax dollars at work in Palmdale…
That’s where the real fraud is! Glad they got caught!