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Three Milwaukee residents sentenced to prison after fraud of food stamps

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee residents 67-year-old Kanwar Gill, 27-year-old Raviinder Gill and 59-year-old George Nance have been sentenced to prison for wire fraud based on a scheme to traffic benefits issued by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, and by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Kanwar Gill was sentenced to 15 months in prison, Raviinder Gill was sentenced to 20 months in prison, and George Nance was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Between 2013 and 2015, the defendants operated a convenience store called Quick N EZ, located at 3076 N. 27th Street in Milwaukee. Quick N EZ was authorized to participate in the SNAP and WIC programs, pursuant to which Quick N EZ could exchange SNAP and WIC benefits for qualifying food items. Soon after it opened, however, Quick N EZ began exchanging SNAP and WIC benefits for cash. Kanwar Gill, Raviinder Gill, and George Nance each agreed to provide cash to benefit-recipients in exchange for roughly twice the amount in benefits. For example, the store would take $100 worth of benefits from a customer, the store would give the customer $50 in cash, and the store would then obtain the full $100 reimbursement for the benefits from the U.S. Government.

Quick N EZ far exceeded other stores of similar size in the Milwaukee County area in average redemptions of SNAP and WIC benefits. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General and Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services conducted undercover compliance buys at Quick N EZ, confirming that the store was exchanging SNAP and WIC benefits for cash. The United States Department of Agriculture calculated that between 2013 and 2015, Quick N EZ redeemed approximately $1,245,529.72 in SNAP and WIC benefits to which it was not entitled.

A grand jury indicted Kanwar Gill, Raviinder Gill, and George Nance on November 22, 2016, charging them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and SNAP fraud. All three defendants pleaded guilty. Kanwar and Raviinder Gill have also forfeited tens of thousands of dollars to the United States, and have been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,245,529.72.

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