Grocery store owner accused of stealing $307K in coupon scam

The owner of four Pittsburgh area grocery stores is accused of illegally pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars by claiming customers used coupons he had employees take out of unsold newspapers.

Michael John Mihelic was arraigned Wednesday on charges of theft by deception, receiving stolen property, conspiracy and dealing in the proceeds of illegal activity.

Court records don't list a lawyer for the 59-year-old Pittsburgh resident. A message left on a phone listing linked to him wasn't immediately returned.

Police say he directed staff at his Shop 'n Save supermarkets to cut out the coupons, which were then submitted for credit.

They're accusing him of reaping $307,000 through the alleged scheme.

A former employee told investigators the practice began under Mihelic's late father and continued after Mihelic took over.