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Camarillo Man Pays Almost $1.4 Million Restitution in Food Stamp Fraud Case

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For his involvement in a fraudulent scheme involving federal food assistance accepted at two Oxnard markets, a Camarillo man has been sentenced to roughly $1.4 million in restitution and will serve time in prison.

Carbajal, 55, was sentenced to three years in county jail earlier this month. Prosecutors said that one year in prison and two years of obligatory monitoring will be spent.

A prior guilty plea on 10 counts of felonies including conspiracy, money laundering, identity theft, and fraud involving public benefits was entered by Carbajal at the time of his arrest. According to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, at the time of his October plea, he paid $1,390,985 in restitution to the United States Department of Agriculture for unlawfully collecting SNAP benefits. CalFresh, formerly known as food stamps, is the name of the benefits program in California.

Carniceria 4 Caminos at 1730 First St. and Four Way Meat Market at 508 E. Date St. were owned and operated by Carbajal. His eligibility to take SNAP assistance at the businesses was terminated by the USDA in June 2016 after he overcharged the government for things he sold to SNAP users.

Both businesses continued to receive SNAP benefits for a long period even after Carbajal and his wife Adelina Carbajal of Camarillo were suspended. SNAP and CalFresh members receive monthly rewards on debit-type cards that they may use at approved grocery shops and farmers’ markets to purchase food.

FOOD STAMP

With the use of point-of-sale systems, the Carbajals were able to get around the USDA’s ban on SNAP benefits. Unrelated Oxnard, Santa Ana, and Texas businesses were designated as the owners of the devices. He received $3.8 million in SNAP benefits before the government interfered.

At both locations, $242,000 in cash and documents relating to the case were found during search warrants issued by the DA’s fraud section in August 2019.

Two more people were found guilty of misdemeanor charges related to the rewiring of the POS systems. One-year probation and 150 hours of community service have been imposed on both Karla Orellana of Sun Valley and Antonia Penaloza-Penaloza of Panorama City.

Many offenses were committed by Adelina Carbajal. Ventura County Superior Courtroom 23 will be open at 9 a.m. Friday for her sentencing, which is expected to last about one hour.

This was an unusual instance of benefit fraud, according to Howard Wise, the senior deputy da.

As Wise put it, “I searched all around the nation and I couldn’t find anything like this.” “I learned a lot from that.” This case should serve as a deterrence to those who might contemplate doing something similar in the future.

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