By Will E Sanders
TROY — The owner of a Troy convenience store that allegedly allowed customers to use food stamp benefits in exchange for cash to pay for utility bills faced a judge at his arraignment in Miami County Municipal Court on Thursday.
Samir I. Nino, 55, of Dayton, was released on his own recognizance following his arraignment on a charge of illegal use of food stamps or WIC program, a third-degree felony, and telecommunications fraud, a fifth-degree felony.
A Feb. 25 preliminary hearing has been scheduled.
Nino was charged this week after authorities with the Ohio Investigative Unit, and assisted by the Troy Police Department, executed a search warrant Tuesday at 55 Express, 503 E. Staunton Road, Troy, which Nino owns.
Authorities said Nino was allowing customers at the convenience store to use food stamp benefits in return for money to pay utility bills.
An official with OIU said food stamp fraud is when a store owner or employee allows a customer to ring up fake sales orders for cash from a food card account, or by allowing the use of food stamp funds to purchase non-eligible items, such as beer, cigarettes and other items.
Will E Sanders may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.