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14 Arrested In Fairfield For Alleged Food Stamp Fraud

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An 18-month undercover investigation in Fairfield has led to 14 arrests involving fraud, money laundering and drug charges.

Officials from multiple law enforcement agencies Wednesday arrested 14 employees and owners of two Fairfield food companies: U.S. Beef of Cincinnati and Butcher Food Shop Distributors.

Federal authorities say employees at the door-to-door food sales companies would exchange food stamp vouchers for cash, drugs and other items.

Records allege the fraud began in December 2011 and adds up to nearly $1.5 million.

The 14 people arrested are scheduled to be in federal court Thursday afternoon.

Charges include: conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud, illegal use of Food Stamp benefits, theft of public money, money laundering and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance (including near schools and playgrounds).

Those arrested are:

Steven E. Mueller, 61, of Fairfield

Joseph Raymond Gray, 34, of Fairfield

Jeffrey C. Knab, 58, of Cincinnati

Andrie Lamarr Scott, 22, of Cincinnati

Francis E. Racicot, IV, 32, of Cincinnati

Rici Lynn Hopkins, 25, of Cincinnati

Christopher Doane, 29, of Cincinnati

Scott Andrew Traum, 45, of Cincinnati

Joey Lightcap-Traum, 43, of Cincinnati

Dalton Andrew Traum, 19, of Cincinnati

Keith Blankenship, 35, of Loveland

Gregory M. Brown, 35, of Cincinnati

Jordan A. Kaiser, 22, of Fairfield

William N. King, 22, of Fairfield

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.