Police: Couple used Riverhead gas station to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in food stamp assistance money

Police say a couple is accused of using their Main Street Gulf gas station in Riverhead as a front to steal hundreds of thousands of

Couple used Riverhead gas station to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in food stamp assistance money.

Couple used Riverhead gas station to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in food stamp assistance money. (6/27/13)

LONG ISLAND - Police say a couple is accused of using their Main Street Gulf gas station in Riverhead as a front to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in government food stamp assistance money over a three-year period.

Officers from the New York Attorney General's Office and the Department of Agriculture arrested 59-year-old Ravinder Parkash and 58-year-Old Prabha Rani for allegedly trading cash for food stamps.
Prosecutors say the scam cost the federal program money that was meant to feed Sandy victims.

The pair allegedly committed fraud by conspiring with two dozen Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program recipients throughout Suffolk County.

The indictment charges the couple would process fake transactions and then give the cardholders cash for half the purchase while pocketing the remainder of the money.

Prosecutors say they have frozen the couple's assets.

The gas station and convenience store are still open for business, but Rani and Parkash have been jailed. No one inside the business would comment on the investigation.

Both suspects have been arraigned. Rani's bail was set at $100,000 bond and Parkash at $250,000.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Police say the victim sustained multiple lacerations and 1 Police release sketch of man found dead in Massapequa Preserve
The van was a welcome addition to the 2 Nassau firefighters group donates van for disabled vets
Two Long Island residents with differing views on 3 LI residents offer different takes on GOP health bill failure
Police are searching for the driver involved in 4 Brentwood man killed in hit-and-run crash
When the new Nassau Coliseum opens its doors 5 New Coliseum to pay tribute to military, 9/11 victims

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE