CBS Detroit

FLINT (WWJ/AP) – A federal judge has sentenced a Flint store owner to four years, three months in prison for participating in a $612,000 food stamp fraud scheme.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade says 55-year-old Noha Fofana was sentenced earlier this week for conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud. A jury convicted him in August.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith also ordered Fofana to pay $612,980.96 in restitution to the USDA-Food and Nutrition Service. This amount is to be paid jointly and severally with Fofana’s co-defendant, Akhir K. McFarland, who was sentenced on Dec. 18, 2012, to 16 months in federal prison for his participation in the conspiracy.

McQuade says Fofana, the owner of Mandingo African Market, redeemed more than $750,000 in food stamp benefits from February 2009 to July 2011, approximately $612,000 of which was obtained utilizing fraudulent “food stamps-for-cash” exchanges.

State officials calculated that during that same time period, Mandingo’s average…

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