Jennifer Edwards Baker reports:
Owners of two Bond Hill businesses face charges in connection with food stamp fraud, drug trafficking and receiving stolen property.
The indictments and arrest warrants were a result of a year-long investigation by the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Investigative Unit and the execution of two search warrants with Cincinnati police last week.
Agents say the owners of Skytouch, Inc., also known as the Bond Hill Market, 1241 California Ave. and the Goldeneye Enterprises, LLC., also known as Bond Hill Valero, 4600 Paddock Ave., were participating in illegal food stamp activity.
Gurjant Singh, 23 of Mason, was indicted by the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court with three counts each of illegal use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and telecommunications fraud.
Leena Gupta, 38, was indicted on five counts of telecommunications fraud. Anil K. Gupta, 40, was indicted on six counts. Both are from Cincinnati.
“Food stamp fraud is often a catalyst for illegal activity,” said Harold Torrens, agent-in-Charge at the investigative unit. “Often, individuals and retailers who allow food stamp fraud to take place are contributing to activities that put their communities and their patrons at risk.”
Agents also filed administrative charges against Bond Hill Market for illegal use of electronic benefits card, drug paraphernalia, receiving stolen property.
Administrative charges against Bond Hill Valero include, illegal use of the card, receiving stolen property and drug sales.
Once all criminal proceedings are completed, agents will present the administrative charges to the Ohio Liquor Control Commission for their consideration.
The locations may face penalties such as fines, suspensions or revocation of their liquor permits.