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11 charged in CNY food stamp thefts

Albany, N.Y. (AP) -- New York state's inspector general said two employees of the state Office of Mental Health and nine others are accused of illegally using the food stamp cards of residents of mental health facilities in the Syracuse area.

Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott says the group made more than $17,000 in fraudulent purchases over two years.

All were arraigned Thursday in Syracuse City Court on felony charges of possessing stolen property and released with return court dates.

Authorities said they include a 62-year-old therapy aide for Hutchings Psychiatric Center community residences. He's accused of stealing cards from nine residents in his care and selling them to friends and family for half their value.

Also charged is a 51-year-old therapy aide accused of stealing a resident's card and making unauthorized purchases.

 
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