Man gets 2 years for welfare theft in Salinas

For some welfare recipients, $100 in cash trumps $200 in credit for food.

And Terry Allen of Salinas was well aware.

A judge has sentenced the man to two years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to using food-stamp cards that he bought from welfare recipients at half price.

Allen, 59, of Salinas, would buy Electronic Benefit Transfer cards from welfare recipients, paying cash for about half their value, according to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office.

When he was arrested, Allen had five EBTcards that belonged to other people. Investigators learned that Allen had used $4,412.03 worth of food-stamp benefits to which he wasn’t entitled.

Allen pleaded guilty Oct. 10 to two charges including conspiracy and unlawfully purchasing the EBT cards.

On Nov. 30, Judge Pamela Butler sentenced Allen two two years in prison for the EBT card crimes and a concurrent two-year term for violating probation related to a conviction for selling marijuana.

Although sentenced to prison, Allen will serve his term in Monterey County Jail because of the prison realignment law
that went into effect Oct. 1.

The District Attorney Office’s Welfare Fraud Unit and District Attorney Investigators Martin Sanchez and Alicia Cox handled the case.