Former Huntington convenience store owner receives 6 months - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Former Huntington convenience store owner receives 6 months

Posted: Updated:
Photo courtesy U.S. Attorney's office. Eloirzazi's store, All-In-One was demolished Dec. 5. Photo courtesy U.S. Attorney's office. Eloirzazi's store, All-In-One was demolished Dec. 5.

A former Huntington convenience store owner will serve six months in prison for his role in defrauding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Abderahamane Eloirzazi, 34, appeared Jan. 7 before U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers in Huntington.

Chambers additionally ordered Eloirzazi to serve a three-year term of supervised release. He will serve the first six months of that release on home confinement.

Federal prosecutors say from June 2010 to Februray 2012, Eloirzazi along with Huntington residents Stephanie Pauley, 35, and Cynthia Gibson, 40, participated in the EBT card-swiping scheme.

Eloirzazi is jointly and separately responsible for the payment of $127,000 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to the Jan. 7 sentencing document.

Eloirzazi admitted to fraudulently swiping certain recipients' cards, charging a dollar amount against the value of the card. He also gave recipients 50-65 cents on the dollar in cash or ineligible items.

Pauley and Gibson, who were clerks at the former convenience store, both admitted they each redeemed a portion of approximately $127,000 in SNAP benefits, according to a past news release.

Both pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud.

According to court documents, Gibson was sentenced to three years probation and was ordered to pay $19,350 to the Department of Agriculture, for which she will be jointly and severally responsible with the other co-defendants.

Pauley was sentenced to three months of community correction and six months of home confinement.

The All-In-One store was demolished Dec. 5.

"The All-In-One store wasn't just a crooked business, it was a dangerous blight on this city," U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said in a past news release. "As I said when we charged the store's owner, eliminating a criminal stronghold like this can fundamentally change the character of a neighborhood. By tearing it down and putting the land in city hands, we've taken a step toward an even safer Huntington and a brighter future for Fairfield."

"When the Governor, General Hoyer and I were here three months ago, the most recent effort was just getting started: removing broken down abandoned structures that were more than eyesores--they were magnets for crime. Through that project, 54 such structures were removed," Goodwin added.