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Boston Police Raid Chinatown Stores In EBT Card Crackdown

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Boston police in one of the Chinatown stores targeted in the EBT raid Thursday.  (Photo by Mark Katic)

Boston police in one of the Chinatown stores targeted in the EBT raid Thursday. (Photo by Mark Katic)

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CHINATOWN (CBS) – Boston police raided five stores in Chinatown Thursday morning in a crackdown on welfare fraud. As a result, 22 people have been charged with larceny.

The businesses were suspected of misusing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.

Some are suspected of paying cash for the food assistance cards, which are limited in how they are used.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports

A Quincy store owner was among those arrested. Pat Lu appeared in court Thursday afternoon and the judge ordered him held on $100,000 bail.

Investigators say Lu used his store, Pat’s Mini Mart to defraud the EBT SNAP program out of about $700,000.

Last year, the Legislature voted to prohibit the use of EBT cards to buy alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets.

Just last month, a special state commission recommended expanding those restrictions to include a ban on using the cards in nail salons, tattoo parlors, strip clubs and casinos.

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