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Restaurant owners sent to prison for food aid fraud

AP Wire • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:06 PM

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered 18 months for Ed Townsend and 15 months in custody for his wife, Yvonne.

The government said the Townsends paid cash to food stamp recipients in exchange for a larger swipe of the electronic benefits card at their restaurant, Mr. T's. The Townsends admit they also bought food stamp cards from people and used them to buy supplies for the restaurant.

The loss to the government is pegged at $219,000.

Defense attorney John Beason said he'd hoped to keep the Townsends out of prison. He said they broke the law, but were trying to help people with cash and keep the business afloat.

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