Man accused of food stamp fraud, money laundering flees on day of trial

Man accused of food stamp fraud, money laundering flees on day of trial
Man accused of food stamp fraud, money laundering flees on day of trial

A man accused of food stamp fraud and laundering $1.5 million removed his ankle bracelet and fled Thursday morning, the day his trial was about to start, according to State Police

Martin Santiago, 49, of Haverhill, was arrested in June 2015 for allegedly allowing customers in his Lawrence stories to exchange their food-stamp benefits for cash and pocketing the fees the stores would charge for the service. Officials alleged that Santiago and his co-conspirators defrauded the government of $1.5 million before being caught, State Police said in a statement.

He was released on condition that he pay $75,000 bail and wear a monitoring ankle bracelet,according to the statement

Santiago was scheduled to appear Thursday morning in Essex Superior Court, but when he never showed up investigators discovered that he forcibly removed the bracelet about 6 a.m. before fleeing, police said.

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