South Florida supermarket owners charged in $35M fraud

1:02 PM, Apr 16, 2013   |    comments
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MIAMI, Florida (AP) - A South Florida couple whose supermarket chain also offers financial services face fraud and money laundering charges that could land them in prison for decades.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater identified the Pinecrest couple as 45-year-old John Diaz and his wife, 44-year-old Mercedes Avila-Diaz. They operate Diaz Supermarkets, four of which have been closed after authorities raided them last week.

The stores were popular neighborhood locations that catered to Latino customers and included cafeterias and specialty butcher shops.

Atwater says the couple didn't provide required workers' compensation, laundered drug money and also violated several money service business laws. All told, the Diazes face up to 95 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Court records on Tuesday did not list an attorney for the couple.

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