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Man running small Akron grocery store pocketed more than $1 million in food stamp scam, prosecutors say

Prosecutors told a Summit County jury Wednesday that a man operating a small Akron store on Andrus Street cheated the state and federal government out of more than $1 million in food stamp benefits after opening his business in 2009.

Over the next 2½ years, Johnnie Byrd III, who had a previous felony conviction from 2002, received about $1.5 million in electronically transferred benefits in his store bank account, and allegedly pocketed $1,018,120.70 in a series of small ATM withdrawals, prosecutors said.

Jurors saw that exact figure on a big-screen monitor Wednesday in the prosecution’s opening statement at Byrd’s financial crimes trial.

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