LEWISTON — The owner of the Union Super Market has been indicted on charges that he defrauded the Maine welfare system of more than $5,000 over five years.
Andre A. Beaupre, 61, of Auburn was indicted on a felony charge of theft by deception following an investigation that involved Lewiston police, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
According to the indictment, Beaupre fraudulently accepted payments from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program known as SNAP.
Police said Beaupre allowed some of his regular customers to buy products such as cigarettes and liquor with SNAP benefits. Police said that by letting his customers do so, he gave himself an advantage over other stores that can't legally accept those payments for liquor, cigarettes and other banned items, such as hot, prepared foods.
According to the indictment, Beaupre is accused of committing the fraud between June 2006 through September 2011.
The indictment of Beaupre is part of an ongoing investigation that aims to crack down on cheats in the welfare system. Lewiston police have been working with local and federal agencies as part of the crackdown on abuses of the system.
Union Super Market sits at the corner of Oak and Union streets in Lewiston.