Attorney General William J. Schneider announced that Robert W. Baylor, 35, of Lewiston, pled guilty to one count of Class C theft by deception and was sentenced on June 28, 2012 for stealing $2,800 in benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps).
Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice Clifford sentenced Baylor to one year in jail, all but 30 days suspended, and one year probation with the requirement that he pay full restitution.
Baylor was charged with stealing 14 months of Food Stamp benefits by selling his Electronic Benefits Transfer Card (EBT card) with $200 of monthly benefits to another individual, Christopher Frazier, for $100 per month. As part of the EBT trafficking scheme, Baylor provided Frazier with the EBT card and his assigned PIN number in exchange for the cash. An EBT card operates like an ATM card at eligible locations and requires that the card be swiped and the PIN number entered at the store checkout.
Baylor admitted that when Frazer did not pay the $100 cash, he would contact the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and have his card cancelled and replaced. When Frazier finally paid, Baylor would hand over the new EBT card and new PIN number.
“An EBT card loaded with State benefits is not a commodity to be bought and sold,” said Attorney General Schneider. “Taxpayers should not foot the bill for those who use Food Stamp fraud and illegal trafficking to put cash in their pockets.”
This case was investigated by the Lewiston Police Department and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services Fraud Investigation and Recovery Unit. Assistant Attorney General Darcy Mitchell handled this matter for Attorney General Schneider’s Criminal Division.