Alleged food stamp fraud ring busted

Nearly 20 grocery stores throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens were targeted Wednesday in a federal and state bust of a multimillion-dollar fraud of a food benefits program.

There were 16 grocery store owners and employees from nine stores charged for exchanging a customer’s voucher checks from the Women Infants and Children program-known as WIC-for cash, then take a cut of the money. Meanwhile, federal prosecutors sought a civil forfeiture of 19 grocery stores to seize their bank accounts.

The office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman arrested 10 additional grocery store employees as part of its own investigation into the alleged food stamp fraud.