Covington business owner sentenced for food stamp fraud

Covington business owner sentenced for food stamp fraud

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - An Edgewood, KY, woman, who was found guilty by a federal jury in January 2017, was sentenced Thursday to 66 months in prison.

U.S. District Court Judge David L. Bunning sentenced 49-year-old Phyllis Tyler for conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud, food stamp fraud, and four counts of money laundering.

Tyler operated A&E Fashion's and Beauty Supply LLC (A&E), a convenient store in Covington, which was an authorized food stamp retailer.

Authorized retailers cannot accept food stamp benefits in exchange for cash.

According to the evidence, from January 2, 2012 until June 26, 2015, Tyler made cash purchases of food stamp benefits from beneficiaries, paying half the value of the benefits actually on the EBT cards.

She then redeemed the full benefits by conducting EBT transactions at her store, which triggered a direct reimbursement for the sale from the federal government to Tyler's business bank account.

She also used cards that she purchased for cash at other retailers, to buy items for her personal use or for inventory at her store. As a result of the fraud, Tyler was responsible for causing a $408,979.76 loss to the food stamp program.

Under federal law, Tyler must serve 85 percent of her prison sentence and will be under supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years following her term of incarceration.

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