Avoiding Scrutiny

12953783 - closeup of an handcuffed person. vignetting in the corners.

If a fraudster wants to avoid scrutiny, it’s best not to point a weapon at investigators who show up with a search warrant. A former convenience store owner alerted investigators to his food stamp scam by pointing a gun at federal investigators and police who knocked on the door of his residence. (I’m guessing the rest of the visit did not go so well.)

A story posted on WKBN.com provides details on how the former convenience store owner conducted his scam. He sold alcohol, tobacco and additional prohibited items not allowed by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in exchange for Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) funds. (The fraudster collected $2 million in illegally-obtained food stamp benefits through fraudulent claims.)

The former businessman pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced.

It remains to be seen what this man’s sentence will be for this crime, but whatever the punishment is, it will be in addition to his current sentence. (He was sentenced to eight years in prison for pointing a gun at investigators who were looking into the alleged food stamp fraud.)

Fraudsters usually try to keep under the radar so their illegal schemes go undetected. (This guy might as well have waved a white surrender flag and said, ”Here I am! Come get me.”)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Former Youngstown businessman convicted of food stamp fraud,” posted on WKBN.com on September 22, 2016.

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A former Youngstown convenience store owner pleaded guilty to charges related to a $2 million food stamp fraud investigation.

George Rafidi pleaded guilty to illegal use of food stamps in court on Thursday. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 4.

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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.