Here we go again (and I am sure I’ve missed a bunch of these stories)! This food stamp fraud story comes to us from Utica, NY where 12 Yemeni Muslims were indicted for scamming us, the US taxpayer, out of $2 million! What is so interesting about Utica is that there is likely a huge vulnerable refugee population since it is one of the primary cities to which refugees were resettled in recent years. See this post from nearly two years ago where the Brookings Institution ranked Utica-Rome, NY as having the highest concentration of foreign-born residents in the US.
As a matter of fact, refugee advocates call Utica the “city that loves refugees,” here— prime territory for Muslim convenience store fraudsters!
The eight Utica residents rounded up in an alleged $2 million food stamp fraud scheme have been released from federal custody and now have until Friday, Oct. 16, to post $5,000 bail, authorities said Wednesday.
Their passports were seized when they were arrested. [and that will keep them in the country?]
In coming weeks, federal prosecutors will meet with lawyers representing the convenience store owners and employees who were indicted Tuesday.
For new readers this is how the basic food stamp fraud scheme works:
Those arrested at six city convenience stores allegedly swiped cards that each held hundreds of dollars in food stamp benefits. They then reportedly handed customers cash instead of food and kept a percentage of the value of the food assistance cards, officials said.
The scheme was carried out over the last 18 months and netted the store owners and employees more than $2 million, according to an indictment handed up by a federal grand jury.
So what might those who got away to Yemen have been—bag men perhaps? Are your food stamp dollars at work funding Jihadists?
Arrested were: Muteea Alfahdd, 41; Najeeb Abdullah, 44; Hamoud Yafal, 60; Ali Hamoud Yafal, 21; Yaser Saet, 27; Bakri Ali Samet, 33; Setha Samnang, 42; and Rina Samnang, 36.
There are four still at large and believed to be in Yemen. They include: Nageeb Alghaheim, 24; Mohamed Alshuja, 30; Hassan Mohamed Nagi Alshegaa, 23; and Ali Mulhi Abdullah, 36.
I first became interested in Muslim convenience store food stamp scams when it happened in Hagerstown, MD, but I assure you, based on the many reports we have posted here, this is going on in your city too!
By the way, not surprisingly food stamp usage is way up among refugees. Usage was already up in 2006, here, imagine what it is today!