FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Northeastern Indiana authorities have charged 21 people in a welfare fraud scam alleging that they illegally exploited welfare benefits to stock a Fort Wayne restaurant's pantry shelves.
All 21 charged Friday are accused of conspiring in the scheme with Stanley Collins, the owner of Captain Black's Eatery. The Journal Gazette reports Collins was charged last week with a felony theft, corrupt business influence and welfare fraud.
He allegedly arranged more than $16,000 worth of illegal purchases that benefited his restaurant between January 2011 and July 2012.
Collins allegedly gave his Sam's Club or Gordon Food Service membership cards to food stamp recipients who then visited those stores and bought food with their food stamps.
Prosecutors say that food allegedly ended up on the menu at Collins' restaurant.