From the Worcester Telegram:
A federal judge Monday sentenced a local woman to a year in jail and ordered her to forfeit $3.5 million and pay restitution in what lawyers said was the largest food stamp fraud case in Massachusetts history.
Vida Ofori Causey, 46, owner of J&W Aseda Plaza at 753 Main St., pleaded guilty in December to charges of conspiracy to commit Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits fraud, SNAP fraud, and money laundering in a $3.6 million cash-for-benefits scheme.
The scheme involved buying food stamps for 50 cents on the dollar while charging the government the full value of the benefit. In a four-year period, Mrs. Causey rang through more than $3.6 million worth of benefits from a three-aisle convenience store in Main South.
Judge Timothy S. Hillman sentenced Mrs. Causey to a year imprisonment plus three years of supervised probation. Judge Hillman also ordered Mrs. Causey to forfeit $3.5 million. Authorities have already seized roughly $100,000 from Mrs. Causey, and Judge Hillman did not set a specific amount for restitution. But the judge said restitution against the $3.5 million loss that remains in the case would be set once authorities had seized Mrs. Causey's assets.