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Deli Delivers a Side of Food Stamp Fraud

Deli Delivers a Side of Food Stamp Fraud

Low angle view of happy female deli owner receiving credit card from customer in store. Saleswoman is with square chip reader connected to digital tablet. Both are at checkout counter in shop.
Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Two operators of a deli in Rochester, N.Y, supplemented their profits through food stamp fraud. Hicham Khallad and Karim Euchi let customers trade Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in exchange for cigarettes and other non-food items. (Did they think government benefits were supposed to be food free, instead of for free food?) They also purchased food stamp benefits for cash, at less than full value, furthering their profits.

Between May 2018 and February 2019, the pair generated approximately $154,000 in federal funds for the Joseph Market – for food that was never purchased. (It’s illegal for any store to accept SNAP benefits for non-food items or for cash.)

Khallad and Euchi both pleaded guilty in January, thanks to investigations by the Monroe County Department of Social Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Office of the Inspector General. Sentencing is scheduled for April in New York. The men face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for their food stamp fraud. (Let’s hope they get plenty of time to reflect on why fraud doesn’t pay.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from the RochesterFirst.com article, “Rochester deli operators plead guilty to food stamp fraud,” posted Jan. 6, 2020.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – Two operators of a deli on Joseph Avenue in Rochester, have pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud.

Officials say 47-year-old Hicham Khallad, and Karim Euchi operated Joseph Market between May 2018 and February 2019.

Additional information is available in a media release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York, “Deli Operators Plead Guilty to Food Stamp Fraud,” published Jan. 6, 2020.

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