BOSTON — A Quincy store owner faces criminal charges after what authorities claim was a scheme to trade food stamp benefits for cash.
Authorities arrested Pat Lu, the 48-year-old owner of Pat’s Mini Mart, on charges including larceny and fraud.
The state Attorney General’s Office says he pleaded not guilty Thursday in Quincy District Court and was held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Authorities say about 20 others also face charges for allegedly selling their food stamps.
The government benefits help people from low-income households buy food.
Investigators allege Lu or a clerk would swipe a customer’s food stamps card, giving back half the sale amount in cash instead of in groceries, before profiting off the rest.
Authorities claim the fraud at the store involved $700,000 in transactions in less than two years.