Man pleads guilty to $100,000 food stamp fraud

CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte man accepted a plea deal in a case of food stamp fraud.

Thomas Taylor, 68, told a judge in court he only wanted to help but police said at his corner store in Grier Heights he was committing a crime, food stamp fraud.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department launched an 18-month investigation in 2014 after they received multiple complaints.

They sent an informant to capture undercover video because officers said Taylor would swipe customers EBT cards for cash, give them a cut and keep the rest.

"Upwards of over $100,000 easily," Officer Johnathan Frisk said.

CMPD officials said since they shut down the crime going on inside this store, crime outside in Grier Heights has gone down.

 "We were probably getting 100 to 200 calls a year in this area easily and now we have no calls out here now," Frisk said.

The building is scheduled to be torn down and replaced with a center to educate pre-school children in the neighborhood.

At least one resident and former store employee said Taylor still has community support.

"I don't have anything to do with that because he is not the only one who has done that in Charlotte," James Lee said. He is not the only one. My thing is why target this man when you got 20 other people doing this in Charlotte right now."

Taylor pleaded guilty to 11 charges and will serve 90 days in jail. He was ordered to $75,000 in restitution.