Due to his involvement in a fraudulent scheme involving federal food benefits, a Camarillo man has been sentenced to over $1.4 million in reparations and will be imprisoned for his crimes.
Earlier this month, Jose Refugio Carbajal, 55, was sentenced to three years in county prison. According to prosecutors, one year in prison and two years of mandatory monitoring will be required of the convicted felon.
Carbajal has previously pleaded guilty to 10 felony offences, including conspiracy, money laundering, identity theft, and public benefits fraud. SNAP fraud restitution was paid to the U.S. Department of Agriculture by the defendant at the time of his October plea deal, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. It used to be known as food stamps in California, but CalFresh has taken its place.
Four Way Meat Market at 508 E. Date St. and Carniceria 4 Caminos at 1730 First St. were run by Carbajal, who was the CEO at the time. Following an overcharge to the government, the USDA took away his ability to take SNAP assistance at the stores in June of that year.
However, Carbajal and his wife continued to use their SNAP benefits at both stores for several years despite their suspension. Program participants can use SNAP and CalFresh benefit cards at participating grocery stores and farmers’ markets to access their monthly rewards.
Point-of-sale devices that allowed Carbajals to accept SNAP benefits were unreported because of the USDA suspension. Unrelated establishments in Oxnard, Santa Ana, and Texas were assigned to the devices. Prior to the intervention of authorities, Carbajal had received nearly $3.8 million in SNAP benefits.
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The DA’s fraud team issued search warrants on both locations in August 2019 and seized $242,000 in cash and material linked to the case..
Point-of-sale devices were reconfigured by two additional people who were found guilty of minor offences. Karla Orellana, 41, of Sun Valley, and Antonia Penaloza-Penaloza, 56, of Panorama City, were both sentenced to a year of probation and 150 hours of community service, respectively.
Many felonies were imposed on Adelina Carbajal by the courts. She will be sentenced at 9 a.m. on Friday in Ventura County Superior Court Room 23. He claimed the case was an unusual type of welfare fraud.
A such programme, Wise claimed, could not be found anywhere in the country. There were many lessons to be learned from the whole process. It’s our hope that their term and the restitution they’ll have to pay would serve as a deterrence to anyone thinking about doing anything like this.”
The DA’s government fraud unit, the USDA Office of Inspector General, and the Southern California High Tech Task Force all looked at the case.