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Grocery store employee charged with food stamp fraud

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --  An employee at PK's Pantry was arrested after police say he illegally purchased cigarettes and food stamps from an informant on eight separate occasions. 

Bharat Kumar Patel is facing two counts of knowingly trafficking food stamps and one count of violating cigarette tax rules. 

According to court documents, Patel purchased Quest Cards for a part of their cash value, then he then ran the cards and the business would benefit from food stamp benefits. The incidents took place between January 2015 to September 2016 at PK's Pantry near Hampton and 107th. 

In the criminal complaint, it outlines a conversation Patel made with the informant to buy stolen cigarettes.

The informant asks, "Should I try to steal Newports? The Clerk replies, "Yeah, Newport 100 is good, otherwise Maverick Menthal 100." 

The owner denied knowing anything about trafficking food stamp benefits. Investigators believe there were two other store clerks illegally purchased electronic benefit transfer cards.

Patel is currently out on a $1,000 signature bond, he will be back in court April 6th. 

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