By Will E Sanders
TROY — A Troy convenience store owner who allowed customers to use food stamp benefits in exchange for other items was sentenced to two years probation Monday in common pleas court.
Samir I. Nino, 56, of Dayton, was convicted in July and entered guilty pleas to telecommunications fraud and illegal use of supplemental nutrition or WIC program benefits, both fifth-degree felonies.
Restitution that Nino will pay back will be determined by a federal court. More than $20,000 were seized by authorities during their investigation.
“I’m really, really sorry for what I did,” Nino said in court. “This should have never happened. … I feel ashamed.”
Nino owns the 55 Express convenience store, 503 E. Staunton Road, Troy, which authorities from the Troy Police Department and the Ohio Investigative Unit executed a search warrant at in February.
That investigation dealt with allegations that Nino was allowing customers to use food stamp benefits in exchange for cash and items the benefits were not meant to cover, according to Harold Torrens of the OIU.
Food stamp fraud is when a business allows customers to ring up fake sale orders for cash from their food card account, including using the funds to purchase non-eligible items, such as alcohol and cigarettes.
Nino committed the offenses between June 1, 2013, through February of this year.
Should Nino violate the terms of his probation he will be sentenced to 11 months in prison.
Will E Sanders may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.