A brother and sister who ran the Wilkinsburg store Nicky's Corner were charged today with conspiracy and accused of misusing food stamps.
Siblings Nicole Gordon and Stanley Saxton, whose ages and places of residence were not immediately available, offered "a minimal stock, consisting mainly of snack foods and beverages" at the store they ran, according to the charges against them.
But they claimed to offer more substantial foods and were authorized in 2009 to take Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program cards, the charges indicated.
From May 2010 to July 2012, the store redeemed $274,225 in SNAP benefits, "a substantial portion" of which were "unlawfully exchanged for cash and/or accepted as payment for ineligible items, including cigarettes," according to the charges.
The two also paid people cash equivalent to roughly half of the value of their SNAP balances, then sought and got full reimbursement for the benefits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to the charges.
Ms. Gordon and Mr. Saxton could not be reached for comment and the federal docket did not list attorneys for them.
Rich Lord: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1542 and on Twitter: @richelord.