Seattle man used phantom business to steal thousands from food stamp funds
Phantom business accused of stealing thousands of dollars [KIRO-TV]

A Seattle man is due in court on Tuesday for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from "food stamp" holders through his company, but it's unclear whether the business exists or if he's even in Washington state.

KIRO-TV reported on Friday that 58-year-old John A. Comoza is due in court on Dec. 3 on identity theft charges for falsely charging 23 participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with purchases at the food and seafood store registered under his name.

Comoza is accused of stealing $9,468.96 during a two-month period in 2012 by depositing the money from the fake purchases into bank accounts under his control. The Tacoma News Tribune reported that the scheme caught victims stretching from Tacoma, where he supposedly lives, across the state.

But KIRO reported that the address listed for the business, John's Meat & Seafood, actually belongs to a residence. Addresses listed for Comoza himself lead to vacant houses and lots.

Watch KIRO's report, aired on Friday, below.