Eastern District of California | Fresno Resident Arrested in El Rancito Bakery Food Stamp Trafficking Plot

Fresno, Calif. — On May 4, 2023, a federal grand jury indicted Fresno resident Jorge Luis Rivera, 53, on two counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and attempted wire fraud. has remanded the indictment for the crime, said U.S. Attorney Philip A. Kennedy. Talbert announced.

An indictment was opened today following Rivera’s arrest.

According to court documents, Rivera owned El Ranchito Bakery in Fresno. Beginning in 2005, El Ranchito was authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, formerly known as Food His Stamp. These benefits are not redeemable for cash. From about 2011 until about August 2018, Mr. Rivera instructed employees to redeem SNAP rewards for cash and to redeem her SNAP rewards for unapproved merchandise at the customer’s request. US losses are estimated at over $5 million.

The case is the result of an investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture Inspector General (USDA-OIG) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander Dempsey and Joseph Burton are prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Rivera faces a statutory sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each offence. However, any sentencing will be at the court’s discretion after considering applicable legal factors and federal sentencing guidelines, which take into account many variables. An accusation is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content