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Couple who won $10,000 worth of groceries charged with felony theft

A couple who won $10,000 worth of free groceries as part of a program for military families are also facing felony charges for theft. (KUTV)

LAYTON, Utah (KUTV) A couple who won $10,000 worth of free groceries as part of a program for military families are also facing felony charges for theft.

Nicholas and Stephanie Mannino stood before media cameras Friday morning at a Salt Lake City WinCo and reacted with surprise as they learned of the free groceries awarded by Operation Homefront, an organization that helps military families during tough financial times.

But just a day earlier, the couple was in Second District Court in Farmington as part of a felony case of theft against them.

According to court documents, the couple stole more than $5,000 of merchandise from a Kohl’s store in Layton where Stephanie Mannino, 33, worked.

Court documents say Nicholas Mannino, 37, took items to his wife’s register. She then “failed to ring up all of the items, or rang up items and then deleted them from the register,” the court documents stated.

In court filings, prosecutors said the couple admitted to stealing from the store from the end of November 2016 until December 21, 2016 when the crime was discovered.

It’s unclear how much organizers of the free groceries campaign knew of the Mannino’s legal history. Kristen Glanton, a public relations practitioner who promoted the event on behalf of Operation Homefront, meat producer Eckrich, and WinCo Foods, told KUTV Monday evening, “I’m pretty sure that they didn’t.”

Glanton said she would investigate the matter and get back.

A spokesman at Operation Homefront did not answer the phone after business hours Monday. An email message seeking comment was not immediately returned.

KUTV was unable to reach Nicholas or Stephanie Mannino. Both have pleaded not guilty to a third degree felony count of theft.

The couple’s attorney, Paul Remy, said he had no comment Monday evening.

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