Four people charged with running a food stamp scheme out of a Chinatown store are due to be arraigned in San Francisco Superior Court today at 1:30 p.m.
Ivy Lai, 55, and Alan Wan, 55, are suspected of defrauding the state’s CalFresh program of over $480,000 in a scheme run through Ivy’s Food Company, the store they own at 1216 Stockton St.
Nelson Tse, 47, and Cam Zenh Mong, 43, both of San Francisco, are suspected of being conspirators in the fraud.
The suspects allegedly bought CalFresh benefits from program recipients for cash at a fraction of their value. They then allegedly charged fictitious food purchases to the program so that CalFresh would reimburse Ivy’s Food Company for purchases that never occurred, according to the district attorney’s office.
The CalFresh program, which is California’s version of the Federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP, provides food assistance to low-income families and individuals.
Lai and Wan are charged with conspiracy, misappropriation of public funds, 22 violations of CalFresh benefits fraud and six counts of money laundering. They each face a maximum of 24 years and eight months in prison, according to the district attorney’s office.
Tse is charged with conspiracy, misappropriation of public funds and three counts each of felony and misdemeanor violations of CalFresh benefits fraud. If convicted, he faces up to eight years in prison, according to the district attorney’s office.
All four defendants are in custody, and Lai, Wan and Mong are being held on $1 million bail. Tse is being held on $100,000 bail.
The charges come as the result of an investigation by federal and local agencies.
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