MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 47-year-old Shakopee man pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to using other people’s food stamps.

Chin Son Kim pleaded guilty to one count of food stamp fraud.

Kim admitted that between November 2010 and July 2012, he obtained Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP) cards from the true recipients of those benefits.

He would wait near a charity facility in St. Paul, and approach people he thought might be in possession of them.

After getting one, he would make routine transactions of around $200 with the card and receive cash, groceries or store credit in that amount.

Afterward, he would return the card to its rightful owner, providing that person with cash in the amount of about half the transaction total.

The loss to the SNAP program because of Kim’s actions totaled $29,816.

Each individual who receives SNAP benefits is issued an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card, which contains a monthly allocated benefit amount that can be used at authorized retailers. The USDA reimburses those retailers for the benefit amounts redeemed.

Only eligible food items may be acquired with food stamps – some items are not eligible.


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