Danville restaurant owner pleads guilty to fraud charges

Southside Virginia News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The owner of Seafood & More in Danville has pleaded guilty on Wednesday in U.S. District Court to defrauding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by exchanging cash for SNAP benefits.

Bobby Lee James, 69, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of food stamp fraud.

According to court documents, from October 2010 to July 2018, SNAP redemption for Seafood & More exceeded the state average of all other seafood specialty class stores in Virginia by more than $2,465,555.

Following an investigation, James admitted to law enforcement that he, and others who worked at Seafood & More, redeemed SNAP benefits in exchange for cash between the years shown above.

James also reportedly admitted that he directed his employees to redeem SNAP benefits for case during the same time period and that he knew what he was doing was wrong.

Seafood & More caused approximately $1,835,767 in loses to the SNAP program.

At sentencing, James faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

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