After we had a recent federal raid on a convenience store in Hagerstown, MD where the owner, Mohammed Tariq Khan, allegedly purchased food stamps for 50 cents on the dollar, I’ve occasionally noticed articles about this illegal practice. Here is an old one published at Free Republic entitled “New Immigrants Masters of Food Stamp Fraud.”
More recently, food stamp fraud has been refined by “asylees” — asylum seekers — fleeing Somalia, where rampant starvation serves as the basis of those asylum claims. Asylees are one of a very small number of immigrant groups who are normally eligible for food stamps. Last year, according to documents filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office with the District Court in Seattle, Wash., a ring of Somali couples based in Washington leveraged their skills into a multi-layered public assistance fraud that even involved cash payments from the government.
It’s going on a month now and there has been no further word about our local raid or whether anyone has been charged with a crime. At the time the Herald Mail (our local paper) only briefly mentioned it in a police log and when I called the local AP reporter to see if they were writing on it he said that although he had received the police report, “he hadn’t thought about writing on it.” Is it any wonder then why the general public has no clue this stuff is going on!