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Ex-Newark Grocer Sentenced For Nutrition Program Theft

State prosecutors say a former Newark grocery store owner has been sentenced to six years in prison for his role in a scheme to steal more than $1 million from a federal child nutrition program by using fraudulent vouchers.

Martin Martinez (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Martin Martinez, a 51-year-old Newark resident, must serve two years of the term imposed Wednesday before becoming eligible for parole. He also must pay $158,490 in restitution. He pleaded guilty in May to money laundering for obtaining fraudulent vouchers and redeeming them without providing food items to WIC participants.

Martinez was also sentenced Wednesday in two unrelated cases, receiving prison sentences that will run concurrent to his six-year term. He had pleaded guilty to conspiring to broker illegal sales of state driver’s licenses and fraudulently cashing stolen income tax refund checks.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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