Former Youngstown businessman convicted of food stamp fraud

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WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – A former Youngstown convenience store owner pleaded guilty to charges related to a $2 million food stamp fraud investigation.

George Rafidi pleaded guilty to illegal use of food stamps in court on Thursday. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 4.

Investigators said while operating Breaden Market, Rafidi sold alcohol, tobacco and other prohibited items and obtained cash for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. During the course of the conspiracy, Rafidi and Breaden Market submitted claims for more than $2 million in fraudulently-obtained SNAP benefits, according to the indictment.

Last year, Rafidi was sentenced to eight years in prison for pointing a gun at federal agents and local police when they went to his Lordstown home with a search warrant. The officers were investigating the alleged food stamp fraud.

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