Lewiston store owner accused of welfare fraud

Union Super Market at Union and Elm streets in Lewiston.
Mark LaFlamme | Sun Journal
Union Super Market at Union and Elm streets in Lewiston.
Posted June 09, 2012, at 5:24 a.m.

LEWISTON, Maine — The owner of the Union Super Market has been indicted on charges that he defrauded the Maine welfare system of more than $5,000 over five years.

Andre A. Beaupre, 61, of Auburn was indicted on a felony charge of theft by deception after an investigation that involved Lewiston police, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the attorney general’s office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

According to the indictment, Beaupre fraudulently accepted payments from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, as well as from Electronic Benefits Transfer cards.

Police said Beaupre allowed some of his regular customers to buy products such as cigarettes and liquor with welfare money. Those items cannot be legally purchased with SNAP benefits or EBT cards. Police said that by letting his customers do so, he gave himself an advantage over other stores that don’t accept those payments for liquor, cigarettes and other banned items.

According to the indictment, Beaupre is accused of committing the fraud between June 2006 through September 2011.

The indictment of Beaupre is part of an investigation that aims to crack down on cheats in the welfare system. Lewiston police have been working with local and federal agencies as part of the crackdown on abuses of the system.

Union Super Market sits at the corner of Oak and Union streets in Lewiston.

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