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Southeast

Market Loses Food Stamp License After Agency Sting

May 01, 1996

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has withdrawn a Long Beach fish market's license to redeem food stamps after an undercover investigator exchanged the coupons for 10 fried fish.

Investigators suspected that King Fish Market was illegally accepting food stamps for prepared meals last year when the store owner could not explain why his stamp revenue exceeded his regular food sales, an agency spokesman said.

"Hot meals are a problem because we like to have people get the most out of their food dollar," said spokesman Peter Bauer.

On Monday, the market at 6175 N. Atlantic Ave. was prohibited from receiving the welfare stamps for at least three years, he said.

The store's owner was not available for comment, but an employee said the market does fry fish upon customers' requests.

Although more stores are opening delicatessens that later breach food stamp rules, Bauer said that King Fish was the first market in the Los Angeles area to be cited for the prepared meal violation.

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