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Camden Grocer Charged With Defrauding Food Stamp Program of $1 Million

By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — A Camden, NJ man is now facing federal charges that he ripped off the food stamp program.

The US attorney’s office in Camden accuses Alexander Vargas, 34, of a single count of theft against the government.

Vargas managed a small grocery store in Camden that accepted the SNAP card from those getting what is commonly known as “food stamp” assistance.

It’s alleged that Vargas, during the year 2012, would trade card transactions for cash at about 50 cents on the dollar, pocketing the rest.

Prosecutors say his take exceeded $1 million.

Federal documents say Vargas has made 10 trips to his homeland in the Dominican Republic over the last two years, the latest one last March with his son.  Prosecutors say he took the proceeds there, to buy a house and several cars.

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