Guilty in largest Georgia food stamp fraud

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A middle Georgia man has pleaded guilty in what authorities said was the largest food stamp fraud investigation in state history.

The Macon Telegraph reports that Elbert Eugene Shinholster, the owner of Shinholster’s Grocery and Meat Market in Irwinton, pleaded guilty to charges against him in U.S. District Court on Monday. Authorities said the food stamp fraud and money laundering charges involved a $4.6 million scam.

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bclicious
770
Points
bclicious 10/26/11 - 08:38 am
0
0
No big surprise on my account

No big surprise on my account that the crime occured. The only shocker is that you can actually go to jail for FOOD STAMP FRAUD. I guess the key element is that you have to defraud the government for millions instead of thousands of dollars.

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 10/26/11 - 08:44 am
0
0
So, how about all the

So, how about all the convenience stores and other stores like the one in Irwinton?

55 F-100
1
Points
55 F-100 10/26/11 - 08:59 am
0
0
Obama voter trying to

Obama voter trying to double-dip.

seenitB4
98630
Points
seenitB4 10/26/11 - 09:01 am
0
0
This happens all over this

This happens all over this nation....a bunch of this crap in Florida...we have LOST our mind with freebies...
We also let some rip off medicaid & medicare.....at least they caught the jerk in the Atlanta area who was stealing copper from cell towers..he had gotten over $21,000.....in selling copper.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 10/26/11 - 09:26 am
0
0
Maybe we just can the food

Maybe we just can the food stamp program and open government stores. If you get a $200 subsidy, then you go in the store, show your I.D., and get your $200 worth of cheese, rice, beans, ground beef, eggs, flour, corn meal, soap. ( you get the picture- staples only). Somebody will still try to trade a couple of dozen eggs for a few cigarettes, but at least the cash fraud will be minimized and those who are really needy can get nourishing food.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 10/26/11 - 09:59 am
0
0
To start with there are NO
Unpublished

To start with there are NO food stamps. Big business paid lobbyists dearly to switch to debit cards years ago. That change was to make sure share holders of large food chains would reap the benefits. But the fraud is no big surprise. Now, what was that 1-800 number to report fraud? Oh I am sorry, there isn't one, nor is there a 1-800 number for section 8 abuse.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 10/26/11 - 10:01 am
0
0
I almost forgot. Just what
Unpublished

I almost forgot. Just what office is actively reviewing peach card fraud on a daily basis? Well aren't we just happy that we have a smaller less intrusive Government.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 10/26/11 - 10:07 am
0
0
If we didn't provide food

If we didn't provide food stamps/debit cards to those who won't work, then there would be no fraud.

They should have to go to a govt center and pick up their minimal supplies - cheese, flour, butter, milk, various cheap cuts of meat, veggies, fruit, etc. They should NEVER be given open season on any store they want to frequent.

And the govt food store benefit should only be extended for a few months in the event of catastrophe.

I'm sick of all the freeloaders. We are now the Freeloader States of America.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 10/26/11 - 11:27 am
0
0
Chillen, I don't believe we

Chillen, I don't believe we will every get rid of all fraud and I have no issue helping needy families with food but it's the lack of supervision that gets us into trouble.

There is enough community services needed that people who receive government/federal assistance that do not or will not work, should be required to do a certain number of hours a week or month. It is understandable that the elderly and physically disabled would not be able to be included but if you don't make someone work for what they get, they have a tendency to get lazy.

I think I agree with you on the principal of having a governement food center where those who receive assistance could come and pick up supplies/food (which more than likely would be at a reduced pricing) and cut down on frivolous spending and fraud.

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 10/26/11 - 12:27 pm
0
0
Just so people understand how

Just so people understand how "large" a family that is not frauding the system is living, the max net pay a family of three can have is $16, 608 per year ($1,384 a month) and they can have total assets (to include their car) of no more than $2,000 in value. They will receive at max $420 a month in food assistance.

Are there people who fraud the system? Yes. Is this a high percentage of the people on food assisance? Absolutely not. Drop the poor envy. If you are worried about where your money is going, take some time and volunteer with the poor and homeless and find out.

Haki
31
Points
Haki 10/26/11 - 12:35 pm
0
0
Go Cassie Go!

Go Cassie Go!

treerock
0
Points
treerock 10/26/11 - 12:45 pm
0
0
great idea about the food

great idea about the food centers. only have it staffed with people on food stamps and don't pay them a wage. you work a certain number of hours and then you get to shop. if you don't like government cheese, then get a job or learn to fish.

idiotic comment about the fraudster being an obama voter as fraud crosses all political lines.

david jennings
625
Points
david jennings 10/26/11 - 01:07 pm
0
0
I am sure there are written

I am sure there are written guide lines concerning eligibility, and I'm sure there are many who have figured out how to get around them. Since when did 'needy' automatically mean "deserving ?" I mean if I choose not to work or try to help myself, I gaurantee you it wouldn't be long before I became needy. I firmly believe there is plenty of help for the "truly needy", but never enough to help those who won't first try to help themselves.

ispy4u
0
Points
ispy4u 10/26/11 - 01:50 pm
0
0
I did not realize that the

I did not realize that the Food Stamp Program, started under President Obama? WOW!!!!This country was crime free up to 3 years ago Yeah, Right.

specsta
7181
Points
specsta 10/26/11 - 01:57 pm
0
0
It's amazing to me how some

It's amazing to me how some people are so infuriated over the miniscule number of folks that might "defraud" the government for SNAP benefits, but have no problem that the white-collar criminals that orchestrated the biggest fraud in this country (Wall St. and financial institutions) are still collecting bonuses and walking about as free men.

Those food benefits exist because we are not a nation of selfish, greedy, heartless heathens that demand folks to live a a certain standard or be considered useless to society. Or are we? There is such a demonization of the poor and needy in this country by right-wingers it is absolutely sickening. People need help, and they have a problem with it.

The other ridiculous part is to judge someone's dietary needs. Just because you might want SNAP recipients to subsist on a high-sodium, high-sugar, high-fat diet, doesn't mean that those on SNAP assistance should be forced to eat unhealthy foods or foods you feel they are "worthy" of eating. Your so-called "government cheese" is one the worst foods imaginable, full of sodium and fat.

Lastly, I am wondering how many of the folks that have a problem with needy people receiving food assistance have ever been really hungry or gone without a meal for a day or two. When you find yourself in another person's shoes, your whole outlook changes.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 10/26/11 - 02:15 pm
0
0
specsta, being a

specsta, being a "right-winger" I disagree with your statement about right-wingers demonization of the poor and needy. You are absolutely correct, people need help and I can only speak for myself, but I absolutely have no problem with people who need assistance, receiving it. No where (or at least I haven't read) has anyone stated that recipients of SNAP should eat unhealthy food, but when you have a limited amount of funds to feed a family, it seems that buying steaks is not only frivolous but irresponsbile. I have never be in a position to need food stamps or government food (by the Grace of God) so I can not speak to the nutritional quality of "government food". I see no reason for a government food center not to be set up with the same quality food you find in any grocery store but the need for supervision and accountability needs to go hand in hand so that abuse of the system and fraud do not occur. Accountability does not mean we hate the poor.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 10/26/11 - 02:50 pm
0
0
Unless someone gave a blow by

Unless someone gave a blow by blow of what was purchased and I was not there to witness it myself, I feel it is only appropriate not to discredit that person's statement since I was not there to prove or disprove it. I might find it hard to believe but with as much food stamp fraud going around, I don't find it impossible. Normally when you are standing in line, the person in front of you is approximately 4 or 5 feet in front of you (depending if you are standing at the front or back of your cart). Unless one's eyesight is failing I believe you could witness the transaction and possibly make a determination of how that customer was paying. I don't like people in my space so I try and give other's the same courtesy. With that said, I have witnessed many transactions of payment.

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 10/26/11 - 02:58 pm
0
0
The fallacy with that line of

The fallacy with that line of thought is that there are a number of types of cards that look very much like the food assistance card. I've also seen patriotic themed personal credit an debit cards that resemble the food assistance card. So again, unless the person using the card or the cashier publicly states the card being used is a food assistance debit, no one else knows. And as I previously stated, the card will reject purchases of alcohol, and other banned items. $1,700 or less a month does not go very far when clothing, housing, paying for transportation (in a car worth $2K or less), and feeding a family of one, much less three.

Instead of poor envy, lets see what we can do about those bankers we absolutely know are guilty, shall we?

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 10/26/11 - 03:03 pm
0
0
You are right ICL. Just

You are right ICL. Just about 3 weeks ago I got caught in line behind a food stamp user. They had multiple transactions - that required the cashier literally leave her register and run for help. All the other lines were very busy. I stood in line for more than 15 minutes waiting for this madness to end. I was furious because not only did I have to wait, but I was also paying for their groceries!

Over the summer I got caught behind one who came to the lawn & garden checkout to run 2 carts of food stamp groceries through the system. The cashier was frazzled & had to call management over to deal with it. It was quite a production - the food stamp person was yelling & screaming, the kids were crying. In the meantime about 10 customers were in line behind them and were dropping their purchases on the shelf next to them & just leaving.

3 or 4 months ago I saw a young couple with a baby (18 or 19) - both able bodied and clearly able to work. They had a colored chart/food stamp list of things they could buy & they were going up & down the aisles looking for their freebies.

They are easy to spot. You just have to open your eyes. You can tell who is food stamp using. Despite the govts attempt to make them seem like regular shoppers.

I have no problem with a VERY TEMPORARY handout, heck, I might need one myself some day. But it should not be a way of life - that is abuse by the user and by the govt. That is why people are disgusted.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 10/26/11 - 03:07 pm
0
0
I like treerocks idea. Use

I like treerocks idea. Use the govt food distribution centers that I suggested and make people work in them to earn their "money" to purchase things. Provided this is just offered on a temporary basis until the person gets back on their feet - 2 or 3 months.

Work and you get food. No work. No food. It's a win-win.

specsta
7181
Points
specsta 10/26/11 - 03:18 pm
0
0
Chillen - Why aren't you

Chillen - Why aren't you complaining about people that use dozens of coupons, or the old lady that hand-writes a check, or the flustered mother with kids in tow that takes a long time to find her wallet in her purse? Why does a SNAP customer tick you off so much?

I personally know of a couple, both with masters degrees. who have a small child and they have had to rely of food benefits to feed themselves, due to this economy. Both lost their jobs. So your assumption that "you can tell who is food stamp using" is bogus. A lot of your neighbors might be using benefits to be able to eat. And there is NOTHING wrong with it.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 10/26/11 - 03:22 pm
0
0
There is no fallacy of my

There is no fallacy of my line of thought Ms. Harris. If I give the person making the statement the benefit of the doubt that they saw what they said they saw, then who am I to say they are lying. I wasn't there, and neither were you, to know whether this person saw someone purchasing a large sum of items with food assistance. It is possible that this person overheard a conversation between the customer and cashier or there was an issue at checkout and that is how she/he determined it was with food stamps. If you are referencing another post made concerning Walmart, I do not believe the poster stated what the customer was purchasing so I'm confused why you are referring to banned items and alcohol.

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 10/26/11 - 03:30 pm
0
0
This case of fraud and others

This case of fraud and others like it should be dealt with, this is true, but I'm betting the bonus of just one or two of the big bank CEO's responsible for the fraudulent banking practices that have sent the world into this recession (not to mention all the money they lost. One complaint that both the tea party and OWS share) is greater than all of the food debit fraud put together. As a matter of fact, the interest alone on the several trillions lent INTEREST FREE to these careless banks also supersedes that amount. So let's keep catching the government assistance cheats, but let's not beat up on those who are really struggling.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 10/26/11 - 03:41 pm
0
0
I agree, don't beat up on

I agree, don't beat up on those who need help, but in turn don't turn a blinds eye to those abusing the system. Those abusing the system make it difficult for those who really need assistance. I have no issue with this. My issue comes when others who may have witnessed an abuse of the system, however they came about the information, is discredited and made out to be a liar. When this becomes practice then the abuse is no longer reported.....much like a rape victim. If no one is going to believe it occurred they soon stop bothering to report it.

Although the fraudulent banking is a greater dollar amount of fraud, do we brush aside the small amount because it because less important.

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 10/26/11 - 03:46 pm
0
0
These parts of my posts seem

These parts of my posts seem to have been overlooked:

"This case of fraud and others like it should be dealt with, this is true"

"So let's keep catching the government assistance cheats"

"If you suspect fraud, report the store."

" If you have no reason to think there's fraud it's nobody's business what they are buying as you know nothing about these people."

When people I know tell me the types of stories of what they do and do not know about the poor people they think are possibly on government assistance, I don't form a judgement on what they say. I simply tell them I will not listen to their gossip.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 10/26/11 - 04:26 pm
0
0
My apology, your comments

My apology, your comments weren't overlooked. I wasn't finished with my comment before you posted so there was a delay.

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 10/26/11 - 04:28 pm
0
0
Didn't give it a second

Didn't give it a second thought, just wanted you to see my stance. Thank you for your consideration.

corgimom
38759
Points
corgimom 10/26/11 - 06:01 pm
0
0
"If we didn't provide food

"If we didn't provide food stamps/debit cards to those who won't work, then there would be no fraud."

Chillen, are you aware that many members of the military qualify for EBT, along with many other hard-working people in our society?

And I love the part about how you can look at a couple with a baby in store and know that they are able-bodied and clearly able to work, but are unemployed. Do they wear signs around their necks that announce "We don't work", or do you have special intuition, or what?

allhans
24985
Points
allhans 10/26/11 - 06:34 pm
0
0
Is it rooted in the local

Is it rooted in the local office that approves these cards?

Cassandra Harris
-3
Points
Cassandra Harris 10/26/11 - 06:46 pm
0
0
alhans - the information you

alhans - the information you asked is in the article.
"The Macon Telegraph reports that Elbert Eugene Shinholster, the owner of Shinholster’s Grocery and Meat Market in Irwinton, pleaded guilty to charges against him in U.S. District Court on Monday."

It's in Irwinton the seat of Wilkinson County. Irwinton's total population is less than 600, so I don't know if the county has an office. The most densely populated area it's closest to is Macon, so no, it's not with our local office.

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