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Prosecutors say Ventura County man enters guilty pleas in supermarket scam

Phto By Bill Oxford/Unsplash
A Ventura County man has pled guilty to charges stemming from stores illegally accepting federal food program payments.

Ventura County prosecutors say a businessman pled guilty to charges that two markets he oversaw fraudulently accepted millions of dollars in payment from a federal food assistance program.

Prosecutors say in 2016, the United States Department of Agriculture suspended the right for two Oxnard markets to accept SNAP benefits. They say the company’s CEO came up with a way to skirt the shutdown.

Investigators say Jose Refugio Carbajal conspired with some of the workers to reconfigure the point-of-sale devices to allow the acceptance of SNAP benefits without being detected.

The 54-year-old Camarillo man pled guilty to felony charges ranging from identity theft to money laundering. He’s paid nearly $1.4 million dollars in restitution. Prosecutors say Carbajal could get a year behind bars, and two years probation when he’s sentenced in January.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.