Florida: Food Stamp Fraud Alert!

I think this is the first time I’ve reported on an immigrant Food Stamp scam in Florida—lots of other states, but this is my first from the Sunhine State.    For new readers these are big immigrant scams, not the small stuff you might think of where someone is buying some banned item, or lying to officials.  This is hundreds of thousands of dollars of fraud.

The gist of it is that the immigrant (probably an Indian Muslim in this Florida case) opens a ‘mom & pop’ convenience store or a little gas station and they then pay customers 50 cents on the dollar for their stamps—customer gets cash gratus the taxpayer and store owner turns the stamp in to the feds for its full one dollar value.

We have loads of these stories here at RRW, a subject that caught my attention when one such scam was revealed in our county seat—turned in by local folks and now the scammer is doing time!

Here is the Florida case today:

TAMPA – A 33-year-old Tampa man has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for food stamp fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The court also entered a money judgment of $390,000 for the proceeds of the fraud, a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release states.

Naushad Shahabuddin pleaded guilty in March to the offense. He had conducted the fraud scheme out of Quick Check Food Mart in Clearwater.

The case prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terry Zitek was investigated by the state Department of Law Enforcement, the U.S.Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Secret Service.

How do all these immigrants get set up in these stores?  I’m guessing that some come in as E-2 Treaty Investors, here.    Use our search function for ‘food stamp fraud’ to see all of our posts on the subject, or visit our ‘crimes’ category.

I can just see it now, advertisements in the Middle East for training seminars on how to get into America and turn your original investment into a fortune by scamming those gullible diversity-is-beautiful Americans.

Coincidentally, food stamp use is up dramatically among refugees, it was up already by 2006, here.    But then who knows when those numbers will improve in light of Obama’s sinking economy.

Be vigilant, and be on the lookout for Food Stamp Fraud where you live!

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