A Rochester nail salon owner, Hang Lam, 46, was arrested and charged after an undercover investigation revealed he was accepted SNAP benefits for non food items and services.
Federal agents conducted five undercover purchases using a SNAP EBT card and discovered that Lam allowed multiple people to use their SNAP benefits to pay for nail services and non food items like cigarettes, jewelry, and cash.
His business, Young’s Nails on North Goodman st., does not sell food and is not authorized to accept SNAP benefits. When someone presented a SNAP EBT card as payment, Lam would charge double the original price of the item or service and used different SNAP-benefit approved locations to process the transactions.
Between April 19, 2018 and October 1, 2018, no less than $26,000 dollars in fraudulent SNAP transactions were identified and linked to Lam. To process these transactions, Lam used the stores, Tanhong Du Supermarket on N. Clinton ave., Ocean Garden Oriental Foods Inc. on S. Clinton ave., and the Asia Food Market on Brighton-Henrietta Town Line rd.
Police conducted a search of Young’s Nails last November and found multiple SNAP EBT cards and dozens of handwritten notes containing various PIN numbers and cash amounts.
If convicted, Lam could face up to 20 years in prison and owe up to a $250,000 fine.