405-778-4800
Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW

OKC Convenience Store Owner Sentenced for Food Stamp Fraud

18-Mar-2016

After a jury found him guilty of defrauding the federal food stamp program, an Oklahoma City convenience store owner was sentenced for his crime.

We first wrote about Srinadha Ravi Dirisina, 36, the owner/operator of an Oklahoma City convenience store, after his conviction last fall.

Dirisina was accused of exchanging food stamp benefits for cash and directing employees of the Welcome Mart at 1100 W. Reno Avenue to do the same. Investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services revealed that Dirisina and Welcome Mart clerks were swiping SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) cards in order to transfer funds to the store's account, and paying food stamp holders 50 cents on the dollar.

Abuse of USDA SNAP benefits in this way is a federal crime, because it defrauds a program of the federal government. According to court records, Welcome Mart employees illegally obtained $147,603 from the USDA food stamp program between May 2014 and February 2015--nearly $150,000 in less than a year.

Throughout his trial, and even after his conviction, Dirisina maintained that he did not authorize or direct his employees to pay cash for SNAP benefits. Instead, he says that he became aware that two employees--college students from India--were doing so, but turned a blind eye. He holds that his actions were negligent, rather than criminal.

However, in October, a jury was unconvinced by his claims of innocence, and found him to be the impetus for the fraud. He was convicted of theft of government property. The jury acquitted him of three counts of obstruction of justice, in which he was accused of trying to prevent the clerks from testifying.

Dirisina faced up to 5 years in prison for food stamp fraud. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton sentenced Dirisina to 13 months in prison and ordered him to pay nearly $150,000 in restitution to the USDA. Dirisina, who has a 3-year-old child and a wife with medical needs, must report to federal prison no later than April 13 to begin his sentence.

After his trial, Dirisina returned the Welcome Mart to its previous owner.
 
 


 



All News

More News

Putnam City West Teens Accused in Locker Room Assault

07-Oct-2018

Recent cases have revealed that locker room antics once perceived ..

Former State Senator Sentenced to 15 Years for Child Sex Trafficking

22-Sep-2018

A federal judge sentenced former Oklahoma senator Ralph Shortey to..

Oklahoma Cities Adjust Ordinances after Medical Marijuana Legalization

30-Aug-2018

After the passing of State Question 788, the law allowing medical ..

Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections Denies Death Penalty Protocol "Deadline"

13-Aug-2018

Oklahoma, the state that invented lethal injection, continues to b..

Lincoln County Abuse Case Has Some Calling for Home School Reform

28-Jul-2018

The case of a 15-year-old boy rescued from a family farm near Meek..

Oklahoma Health Department Seeks Legal Advice after Amending Medical Marijuana Rules

17-Jul-2018

When Oklahomans passed State Question 788 last month, they left th..

No Special Session Necessary after Passage of Medical Marijuana in SQ 788

30-Jun-2018

Just a week and a half after announcing that a special session of ..

New Oklahoma Liquor Laws to Take Effect in October

14-Jun-2018

It's summertime in Oklahoma. The temperatures are soaring and peop..

Charges Dismissed After Linebacker's Ex-Girlfriend Admits to Lying About Abuse

23-May-2018

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster will be able to rejoi..

Oklahoma Man Convicted of Cyberstalking in Federal Court

02-May-2018

A 46-year old Crescent man was convicted in federal court last wee..

×