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June 9th, 2011
Using Welfare to Buy a Lobster Dinner is Quite Alright

Buying $141.78 worth of lobster, steak and Mountain Dew with a Bridge card violates no laws or rules.

But turning around and selling the stuff for 50 percent of its value, well ... that's a different matter.

Louis Wayne Cuff, a 33-year-old Menominee man was arraigned in 95th District Court in Menominee last week for food stamp trafficking, a felony.

Cuff's arrest resulted from a month-long joint investigation by the State Department of Human Services' Inspector General and the Menominee County Sheriff's Department. Cuff allegedly bought the lobster, steak and Mountain Dew and resold it for 50 cents on the dollar.
It began with a receipt allegedly found in the parking lot of Angeli's County Market, in the Upper Peninsula town of Menominee.
It showed that somebody went into Angeli's in February and bought six lobsters, two porterhouse steaks, and five 24-packs of Mountain Dew using a Michigan Bridge Card.

According to DHS spokeswoman Gisgie Gendreau, somebody brought the receipt to the attention of DHS on the department's Facebook page.
Cuff faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. His attorney, Randall Phillips of Menominee, declined to comment Tuesday, adding that he would advise his client to do the same. 




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