Two men suspected of masterminding a food stamp fraud scheme that allegedly netted an estimated $1.5 million over two years have been charged with conspiracy and other charges, the District Attorney’s Office has announced.
The defendants, identified as Hector Rivera and Robert Douglas Rothschild, were arrested and charged on Dec. 9 following a joint undercover sting operation by the D.A.’s Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General. According to Lt. Dirk Roth, with the D.A.’s Bureau of Investigation, Rivera allegedly illegally redeemed food stamps at a market he owns by manually using the card and PIN numbers from electronic food stamp cards, known as EBT cards, provided by Rothschild. Rothschild allegedly purchased the information on the street from EBT card holders who wanted cash instead of food.
When investigators served arrest and search warrants on Dec. 9 at Rothschild’s residence in the 1200 block of 7th Street, between 6th Street and Wilshire Boulevard near downtown Los Angeles, they discovered 552 EBT cards.
Rivera, 48, and Rothschild, 61, have been charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, food stamp fraud and computer access fraud; and two counts each of theft. District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Jane Robison said a court date is still pending for the two suspects. Deputy District Attorney William Clark in Public Assistance Fraud is prosecuting the case.
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