DETROIT -- Viagra and pornography are not staples on the government's food stamp list. But authorities said a Detroit store supplied them during a series of illegal deals.
Federal prosecutors filed fraud charges this week against three people who worked at Jefferson's Liquor Palace.
The alleged scheme worked this way: Food stamp recipients would get cash from the store in exchange for swiping larger amounts off their electronic cards. The store would then be reimbursed by the U.S. Agriculture Department.
But in some transactions, confidential informants got more than cash. The government said the store provided Viagra, painkillers, liquor, and porn videos in exchange for swiping about $2,000 off food stamp cards.
The government said overall fraud at the store topped $130,000 over 2 1/2 years.
The store is closed.
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