U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Groceries To Your Door, a Rochester food truck delivery business, its owner, Fotene (Tina) Boosalis, 54, and one of its operators, Boosalis’ son Christopher Musson, 22, both of Rochester, have agreed to pay $250,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by submitting false and fraudulent claims for payment to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. The SNAP program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.
Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse, who handled the case, stated that in April 2017, Groceries To Your Door was authorized to participate in the SNAP program. From the time it received authorization, the business operated in violation of the program’s rules and regulations by selling food to SNAP beneficiaries on credit and by obtaining payments for food purchases that never occurred. In order to perpetuate this scheme, Groceries To Your Door processed food purchases using manual food vouchers instead of an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) machine. As a result, the business obtained protected beneficiary account information which it then used to debit beneficiaries’ SNAP accounts for food purchases that had occurred the previous month or not at all. The SNAP program reimbursed Groceries To Your Door based on its representations that the manual food voucher purchases had occurred and that the purchases had been processed according to SNAP rules and regulations. Groceries To Your Door ceased operation in February 2020, when its bank account was seized by law enforcement.
The settlement is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Bethanne M. Dinkins; Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Monroe County Department of Social Services, under the direction of Commissioner Thalia Wright; and the New York State Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro.
The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there have been no determinations of liability.