By Will E Sanders
TROY — The owner of a Troy convenience store accused of committing food stamp fraud pleaded not guilty to his charges at his arraignment in common pleas court Wednesday.
Samir I. Nino, 55, of Dayton, was been charged with telecommunications fraud and illegal use of supplemental nutrition or WIC program benefits, both fifth-degree felonies, after a Miami County grand jury indicted the store owner last month.
Nino was given a recognizance bond and is scheduled for a pretrial conference April 14.
If found guilty as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of one year for each charge.
Nino owns the convenience store 55 Express, 503 E. Staunton Road, which authorities from the Troy Police Department and the Ohio Investigative Unit executed a search warrant at in February.
The investigation into the store stemmed from allegations that Nino was allowing customers to use food stamp benefits in exchange for cash or other items, according to Harold Torrens of the OIU.
Food stamp fraud is when a business allows customers to ring up fake sales orders for cash from their food card account. Other examples of food stamp fraud include using the funds to purchase non-eligible items such as beer, cigarettes, cleaning supplies and pet food with benefits.
Will E Sanders may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.