WNYT.com

Hudson Deli is raided by welfare fraud agents

Posted at: 04/09/2013 6:13 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann

HUDSON - Vanessa Hoffman couldn't believe that one of her main markets was raided Tuesday morning by team of agents.

"That's ballistically crazy that is. It's insane," the Hudson resident said.

Investigators said they were probing allegations of welfare fraud involving food stamps at the D&D Deli. Hoffman said she's used her benefits card there on a number of occasions.

"Everybody goes in there. I've never heard of such things never. I've never heard of them offering cash for food stamps. that's crazy," Hoffman added.

Authorities cordoned off several blocks on 5th Street in the City of Hudson, while they executed a search warrant at the deli. The Columbia County Sheriff's spokesman said the probe involves illegal use of food stamps, which doesn't surprise Jose Colon.

"Let's say a pack of cigarettes is ten dollars. Cost you fifteen. You're paying with food stamps. if you're buying beer  if it's three dollars it's going to be five dollars, you know. That's the way it goes in some places," Colon said.

The raid came after a year long investigation involving Hudson Police with State and Federal agents as part of the Columbia County Welfare Fraud Task Force. While no arrests have been made yet, residents who have used their food stamps at D&D, said they didn't see it coming.

"Everything went perfect that's why I'm shocked I don't think it's for here," said Mercedes Jones, a Hudson resident.

"I go there swipe my card take my food and i'm out of there," said Davan McCalla, Hudson resident.

"Nobody offered you a deal or something unusual," asked a WNYT reporter.

"No ma'am. Not that I've seen," he added.

The Sheriff's spokesman said the investigation is continuing.

Employees at the deli wouldn't comment about the raid.