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.

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 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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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.