Variety store owner charged with fraud allowed to take food stamps

LEWISTON — The owner of a local variety store continues to accept government subsidized food benefits, formerly known as food stamps, while he awaits trial on a welfare fraud charge.

Andre Beaupre, 61, of Auburn, owner of Union Supermarket at Union and Oak streets, was indicted last summer on a felony charge of theft by deception. He is accused of defrauding the federal welfare system of more than $5,000 over five years by accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for non-allowable items.

Local police had fielded public inquiries about the status of Beaupre's SNAP operation.

Beaupre, who was arraigned in June, is awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, a federal investigator said no administrative action by the U.S. Department of Agriculture likely will be taken against Beaupre until after his criminal court case has been resolved, according to Assistant Maine Attorney General Leanne Robbin. Federal administrative action is delayed so as not to interfere with the state's criminal case, she said.

Beaupre is accused of allowing 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.

If convicted of theft, Beaupre faces up to five years in prison and/or a fine up to $5,000.

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Comments

Steve  Dosh's picture

Variety store owner charged with fraud allowed to take food . .

ed. Eaturday 4:30 ?
Honest & poor people gotta eat , too : SNAP , TANF , WIC , recycling cans , eating cat food . No one chooses to be a welfare recipient . ** it happens
" . ..while he awaits trial on a welfare fraud charge. " <- operative phrase
Point of order, he's ' . . ... innocent until proven guilty in a court of law by a jury of his peers. " You can think : Ollie North , DC Mayor Marion Barry , or O J Simpson , if you want to , okay ? Yet, we are not in France where one is guilty until proven innocent
The wheels of Justice grind slowly but ever so finely , sometimes
No kangaroo courts or lynch mobs in L / A † y v m
h t h ? Steve

Steve  Dosh's picture

. .ed., ? 4:55 pm . On

. .ed., ? 4:55 pm .
On second thought , this inflamatory article probably should not have been printed as written and the LSJ ® may wish to consider a retraction . It , the article , seems to exhibit more heat than light about the subject in question given the comments below . Also , " This is - w h y - we have bail - bondsmen ," said Dog the Bounty Hunter , once . Even ax murderers get out until their trial dates come due in these very U S of A
/s Steve , a former Ombudsman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ombudsman

Catherine Pressey's picture

Now lets see:

LETS SEE, If a person is charged with a crime, does not make it so. And if it is a crime then those that are on Food Stamps, that bought the band goods, should stand trial as an accomplice to the crime. In any crime like this, one can not be guilty unless, there are those that broke the rules by buying the said goods. At this time he is but accused of this, you can not believe everything you see on line or read in the news either. However if he is guilty of misuse of his responsibility in this matter. It would seem five thousand amount will cost you and I lots to punish this man. Look at the hunters that got of with light sentences. Do to an illness! Can we realize how much it cost the government to press these kind of issues, at the huge cost. Seems there has to be bigger fries to burn then the wee bit of 5,000. Justice will fail all of us as long as the wolf is guarding the chicken coop. And if you know the right person you can get away with a whole lot more. Yes like the guy and the turnpike caper. HE MADE LOTS OF MONEY FOR THE SMALL SENTENCE. YEP!

Eric  LeBlanc's picture

So called welfare abuse is

So called welfare abuse is nothing more than a drop in the ocean compared to the handshake fraud committed every day in Augusta. If you rednecks are looking for a good witch hunt I suggest you start there.

Dale  Farrar's picture

Penalties warranted

AND heavy penalties for the patrons who scam the system here and elsewhere.

RAYMOND FRECHETTE's picture

The whole idea of food stamps

The whole idea of food stamps or food credit/debit card should be done away with. Go back to government run stores that dole out so much food per family based on family size. This way the money spent would be used for basic foods and not luxuries. We furnish these people basic housing in public housing and should do same for food. While acknowledging our responsibility to help our fellow man, we need to give people an incentive to work and not make life too comfortable.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Maybe a little time in jail

Maybe a little time in jail might heighten his clarity as to what's allowed and what isn't. Contrary to what some posters may think, had Mr. Beaupre been non-Caucasian, the story might never have even seen the light of print.

KRIS KUCERA's picture

It seems . . .

. . . you took notice. That's one.

Weren't you commiserating that the Somali story today shouldn't have been printed? But now this story was only printed 'cause the guy's white? You're like a parody of yourself, man, really.

Funny how you lost our Presidential bet but have never acknowledged it. How was the Crow & Comeuppance Buffet? The defeat must taste awfully bitter, which suits you well. (I assume your poop deck is made of wormwood.)

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

1. You brought the Somali

1. You brought the Somali matter into the conversation in your post, making you the commiserator.
2. Not funny at all. That "bet" was your fantasy; never mine. What made you think I would ever go into a bet with you? I don't know you and trust you even less. What was your supposition; that you'd be getting $10K to put down on a new Prius?
3. oBAMa won an election; big freakin' deal. Someone had to win it, and, both candidates were losers.
4. Once again, the all knowing KK assumes inaccurately. Actually, the poopdeck is made of knotty pine, and doesn't exist.

KRIS KUCERA's picture

Ah, the irony.

Imagine the vitriol in this blog if this man's name was Abdullah or something Somali. But no, it's a white guy -- with French heritage (the horror!) -- scamming the system.

Bigots, take notice.

 's picture

This is why there is so much

This is why there is so much of this kind of thing going on. The system doesn't do anything to these people. This man should be in jail and his business shut down. Very sad to read this type of happings day after day.

Robert McQueeney's picture

Abuse of food stamps

Abuse of food stamps has been going on for as long as they have existed, many bragging about how easy it is to do so. I am all for abuse to be stopped, and teeth being put into whatever stops it. But I also like to see balance in the penalty phase of all things. A turnpike director getting an unwarranted soft sentence does not and should not provide for soft sentences for all. It is a travesty what he got for defrauding millions, and that type of judgement should never again be allowed.

DANNY FITZSIMMONS's picture

make a bet???

Make abet he will get 2-3 times more the jail time than that of the turnpike administrator??? Justice Yah where??? dont get me wrong he should be punished but also the punishment for the administrator who stole what could be millions should have been 5-10 instead of 1yr and no doubt he will get home incarceration after all we dont want our goverment officals to live like the rest of us do we.

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