NEWS

Guthrie store owner pleads guilty to food stamp trafficking

GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) – A Guthrie convenience store owner has pleaded guilty to several counts of food stamp trafficking after letting customers purchase non-food items using their SNAP benefits for over a year.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the owner of JEET Mart, Manjit Hayer, who is known by most of his customers as “Gee,” allowed customers to use SNAP benefits and EBT cards to purchase items like gas, cigarettes, and household items.

According to the affidavit, one customer told agents that “Gee” allowed him to buy cigarettes by the pack and by the carton,” adding that “Gee” would charge him much more than the retail price for the cigarettes when he used his SNAP benefits.

Another customer said Hayer allowed her to buy household, non-food items such as toilet paper and cleaning supplies with her SNAP benefits at an inflated price.

A third customer told authorities that Hayer let her use her benefits to purchase gas.

She told investigators, that “she knew it was wrong but needed the gas to commute back and forth to work from Guthrie to Oklahoma City.”

According to court documents, Hayer pleaded guilty to seven counts of trafficking in food stamps on June 4.

He was sentenced to two years in prison, but all of that time is suspended as long as his good behavior continues.

Hayer was also ordered to pay $100 for each count, along with other fees.

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