Danville restaurant owner sentenced for defrauding SNAP benefits

Southside Virginia News
(Photo: Courtesy CO Dept of Human Services via MGN Online)

(Photo: Courtesy CO Dept of Human Services via MGN Online)

DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — Several months after pleading guilty to defrauding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by exchanging cash for SNAP benefits, officials say the owner of Seafood & More in Danville was sentenced on Monday to 12 months and one-day in prison.

According to court documents, 69-year-old Bobby Lee James — along with others who worked at Seafood & More — redeemed SNAP benefits in exchange for cash between 2010 and 2018. James reportedly admitted that he directed his employees to redeem SNAP benefits for cash during the same time and that he knew what he was doing was wrong.

In addition, court records say that SNAP redemptions for Seafood and More exceeded the state average of all other seafood specialty class stores in Virginia by more than $2,465,555 from October 2010 to July 2018.

In total, Seafood and More caused approximately $1,835,767 in losses to the SNAP program, according to officials.

Back in late January, James pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of food stamp fraud.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Danville Police Department investigated this case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlene R. Day.

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