An Ellicott City woman was sentenced Friday to nearly two years in prison for committing food stamp and wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland reported.
Jung Kim, 52, of the 4400 block of Stonecrest Drive, pleaded guilty to trading cash for food stamps at the convenience store she owned and operated for the past several years in Baltimore, according to the report.
Despite completing compliance training in 2005 that included education about the illegality of exchanging food stamps for money, Kim routinely exchanged food stamp benefits for cash at her store—C&C Market on Park Heights Avenue—between 2010 and 2013, the report said.
In the transactions, Kim kept at least 50 percent of the money, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, pocketing more than $400,000 in payments for food that was never actually purchased from her store.
In addition to food stamp fraud, Kim was charged with wire fraud because she swiped food stamp debit cards to obtain the money, according to court documents.
One transaction occurred on Jan. 7, 2013, when Kim deducted $1,191.80 from a person's food stamp account and provided the individual with $595 in cash, according to the statement of facts. As a result, information was sent under fraudulent pretenses over wires from Maryland to Texas, where Maryland's food stamp debit card processing center was based, the statement said.
Judge George L. Russell III sentenced Kim to 20 months in prison and three years of supervised probation for food stamp and wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Russell also ordered that Kim forfeit $95,453.50 and pay restitution of $205,000, according to U.S. Attorney's Office.
The maximum sentence for each offense is 20 years in prison with three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine, according to court documents.