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Suspended sentence for food stamp scam

One of 21 people implicated in a scam that illegally exploited welfare benefits to stock the kitchen of a south-side soul food restaurant pleaded guilty and was sentenced Thursday in Allen Superior Court.

Janine Felix, 24, of the 7900 block of Serenity Drive, pleaded guilty to one felony count of theft and received a one-year suspended prison sentence.

Felix and others were accused of using food stamps to help buy food for Captain Black’s Eatery at Lafayette and St. Martins streets.

Although Felix was initially charged with corrupt business influence and theft, Allen County prosecutors agreed to drop the corrupt business influence count as part of a plea agreement.

The scam’s ringleader, Captain Black’s Eatery owner Stanley Collins, has pleaded guilty to his role in the scam.

He had been accused of making $16,595 worth of illegal purchases that benefited his restaurant between January 2011 and July 2012 by trading or selling food stamps, which is against the law.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced next year.