Big fish, another Muhammed, arrested in NJ for $5 million food stamp fraud!

Update May 15th:  I see ICE was involved in this investigation, that means there was some immigration violation involved too because normally ICE isn’t in on these busts.

Wow!  This is a huge catch, maybe the biggest I’ve seen!  Arrested is Muhammed Farooq and, of course, no mention in this news account about his nationality or immigration status.

Muhammed busted in NJ!
Essex County Prosecutor’s Office

New readers, following food stamp fraud is a side hobby of mine (until some enterprising blogger wannabe takes on exposing food stamp fraud as their primary mission!).

From the Star-Ledger:

The owner of four dollar stores in Essex and Union counties has been charged with money laundering and other crimes after investigators determined more than $5 million in fraudulent food stamp transactions took place at his stores, authorities said today.

Muhammed Farooq, 49, of Somerset, was charged with money laundering, theft by deception and food stamp fraud when he was arrested today, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said.

Farooq was arrested at around 9 a.m. as police executed search warrants at his four stores and his home, completing an eight-month investigation by the prosecutor’s office, the federal Division of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General, Murray said.

“The Food Stamp program is designed to help people in need,” said Essex County Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Walter Dirkin, director of the county’s financial crimes unit. Any allegation of an abuse of the program will be investigated by this office.”

According to Murray, Farooq was allowing patrons to buy non-food items, such as electronics, with food stamps. He owns two stores in Newark, and one each in East Orange and Elizabeth, Murray said.

The purchases totaled roughly $5.2 million and went on for nearly 2 1/2 years, Murray said.

A search of Farooq’s Somerset home turned up $150,000 in cash, six computers, electronic food stamp machines and detailed business records, Dirkin said.

How did he get here—is he on an investor visa?  Did he send money out of the country?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Did you even know you could use food stamps in Dollar Stores?

For dozens more stories like this one from across the Nation, type ‘food stamp fraud’ into our search function.

Somewhat related:  Food stamp use by refugees jumped dramatically with the arrival of the Obama Administration, here.  The more people on food stamps, the richer the scammers become!

Somali man convicted in Nashville for refusing to testify in sex trafficking case

This is a story, one of the many, I missed in the days after the Boston marathon bombing when I was busy getting more information on the “refugee” bombers.

Couldn’t find a mugshot of ‘Grey Goose’ but here are some of the others originally standing trial in the multi-state prostitution case. Photo US District Court in Tennessee

And, I had been wondering whatever happened in that case involving 30 Somalis charged with using underage girls in a multi-state sex trafficking ring.  Some of them have gotten off.  More could be tried except an important witness refuses to testify (dead man if he does, I’m assuming).

All of our previous coverage of the case is archived here.

This is the short news story from The City Paper:

A man who repeatedly refused to testify in a sex trafficking case involving alleged Somali gang members has been convicted by a federal jury of contempt and obstruction charges.

The jury in Nashville on Wednesday convicted Abdullahi Farah of misbehaving before the court, contempt of court and attempt to obstruct the enforcement of sex trafficking laws.

“He agreed that he had material information on the ongoing sex trafficking case, but he still refused to testify against the other defendants,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Van Vincent said.

Farah, who is also known as Grey Goose, will be sentenced later. He is faces a maximum of life in prison, Vincent said.

Read on, the article has a short report about what happened with some of the others accused in the case.

Background for new readers:

We have resettled more than 100,000 Somali refugees to cities large and small in the US over the last 25 years.  See one of the most widely read posts here at RRW.  Large numbers went to Minneapolis, and now they are spreading out throughout the state.  In three years since 9/11 ( Bush years 2004, 2005, 2006) the number of Somalis arriving topped 10,000 per year.  Those refugees then began bringing in the family (chain migration!) until 2008 when shock of shocks! the State Department discovered that as many as 30,000 Somalis had lied about their kinship and weren’t related at all.  The State Department then closed the “family reunification” program for Somalis.  It has recently been re-opened for new and legit family members, but they have no intention of finding and deporting the liars.

In the first six months of this fiscal year (Oct. 1 to March 31) we have resettled 3,674 new Somalis which means we are on target to make FY2013 a year to rival the largest Somali influx years during the Bush Administration.

Lutherans/Interfaith group: Don’t break our rice bowls!

The Lutheran Center (LIRS headquarters) is a six-story structure constructed in 1999 on property owned by Baltimore’s historic Christ Lutheran Church. The building is located near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in the historic Federal Hill neighborhood, a charming area rich with history and an eclectic array of eateries and shopping venues.

The first time I heard that phrase I laughed and laughed.  If you don’t know it, it implies that someone wants to maintain their livelihood in a manner to which they are accustomed (and more and more these days that livelihood depends on the government).

Here we have the refugee resettlement contractors  ginning up the media in advance of the Senate mark-up of S. 744.

According to the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (one of the top nine contractors that dominate resettlement) when the Senate begins mark-up (today?) on the massive Gang of Nine bill (Eight Senators and Grover Norquist) they imply here that somehow the refugee flow could be slowed and they might lose their federal dole.

In fact, the bill, as written with the help of groups like LIRS, will actually increase the number and variety of refugees and asylees the US taxpayer must support.  And, provides a slush fund for the NGOs.

Since the “religious” groups listed below have federal grants and contracts, they depend on the steady flow of your money to their coffers!  (Sheesh, They’ve turned me into such a cynic!)

Don’t believe me?  Have a look at a recent Form 990 for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, page 9. They had income in that year of $31,653,748 and, of that, you, the taxpayers of America, gave them $30,376,568.  Their CEO* makes $204,186 in salary and benefits.  Where is the ACLU?  No separation of church and state here!   The church is the state!  Just wait until CAIR figures all this out and starts demanding the Muslim share of your tax dollars!

96% of this “religious” group’s income came from government grants!  And, they are lobbying for more refugees and newly legalized immigrants to take care of at your expense in the Gang’s amnesty bill.

If you are a Lutheran, you should have a word with your pastor.

Here is a press release sent to me by a friend from Tennessee with a list of all the learned theologians with their hands out!

Diverse Group of Faith Leaders Urges Senators to Protect Refugee and Asylum Provisions in Immigration Bill

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On the eve of the Senate’s first markup of the bipartisan immigration reform bill, S.744, a wide array of faith leaders is urging legislators to ensure that comprehensive immigration reform upholds the United States’ proud history and tradition of protecting and welcoming refugees, asylum-seekers, and those fleeing persecution.

The following is being released by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service on behalf of an interfaith working group.

Rabbi Steve Gutow, President of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs in New York said: “The United States has a great tradition of welcoming and embracing those fleeing from oppression. Judaism demands that we treat all people as if they are made in God’s image, which means we must treat them well. How can we possibly ill treat those who are oppressed or living under the yoke of tyranny? Right now, as our national leaders reform our immigration policies, we should also improve our refugee and asylum laws to ensure that those escaping persecution are respected and given the opportunity to breathe free.”

Bishop James Mathes of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, California said: “In opening our communities to refugees from persecution in other lands, our nation shows forth our core values of respecting human rights and dignity. As bishop of a community who has welcomed as friend and neighbor refugees from places as diverse as Sudan, Iraq, and Myanmar, I know first hand the gift of life that we provide as well as the great gift we receive from those who come to live among us.”

Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service in New York said: “As members of the Senate Judiciary Committee begin considering amendments to the bipartisan immigration reform bill, Church World Service urges them to protect provisions that would improve the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless people. Throughout the CWS network of congregations and refugee resettlement offices, we know first-hand the importance of these provisions. It is our deep hope that immigration reform upholds the United States’ proud history of protecting and welcoming survivors of persecution.”

Rev. Peter Rogness, Bishop of Saint Paul Area Synod (Minnesota) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said: “Lutherans and others in Minnesota have long been active in support of refugees and asylum seekers. Increasingly we find them now as leaders in our communities, members of our churches, and neighbors to us all. They contribute in numerous ways to the thriving and diverse culture of the Twin Cities. As we seek to reform our immigration laws, people of faith must ensure we enact laws that honor these contributions and uphold our biblical call to welcome the newcomer.”

Rev. Dr. Larry Stoterau, President of the Pacific Southwest District (Arizona, Southern California,Southern Nevada) of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod said: “As Congress considers comprehensive immigration reform, we must remember our commitment to serve the most vulnerable. Faith communities have a long history of welcoming those fleeing persecution and helping them adapt to life in a new land. In my service to Lutherans across southern California and Arizona, I am privileged to work with pastors and people who have come as refugees seeking safety and freedom and the joy of a new life. I have benefited personally from working with these wonderful people.”

Rev. Stephen S. Talmage, Bishop of Grand Canyon Synod (Arizona and Nevada) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said: “The major religions of the world call for compassion, hospitality, and justice for the most vulnerable among us. Refugees and asylum seekers would fall in that category. Many find themselves displaced, living in fear, and desperate for assistance because of factors beyond their control, requiring people of faith along with legislative leaders, to work for ways to receive, integrate, and empower them for the common good.”

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, Florida said: “The United States has always been a safe haven for the world’s persecuted and the legislation reflects American values by offering protections to the world’s most vulnerable. I commend the bipartisan group of senators, including Senator Rubio, for recognizing the needs of refugees in their bill.”

Bishop John Wester of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, Utah said: “Refugees themselves are victims of terror. They understand on a daily basis the fear of being persecuted and threatened with the loss of their lives. The refugee provisions in the Senate bill recognize this reality and help protect these vulnerable persons.”

The Senate’s immigration bill, S.744, (The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013) includes several provisions that would protect refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless people, while also increasing efficiency and supporting integration. The provisions would not reduce or circumvent the current numerous background checks for refugees and asylum seekers, or reduce the rigorous fraud detection mechanisms currently in place.  [Problem is that the present security screening system is not working and is filled with fraud!—ed]

The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin considering amendments to S.744 on Thursday, May 9 th, with additional considerations on May 14 th, 16th, and 20th-24th. The committee will then send its version of the bill to the full Senate for debate and consideration.

Jon Pattee, 202.591.5778

SOURCE Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

* Be sure to have a look at Linda Hartke’s post Boston statement about not jumping to conclusions or messing with our immigration system because of the Tsarnaev’s fraudulent grant of asylum.  I guess she is not thrilled then with Lindsey Graham’s amendment to the Gang’s bill, here.  I’ll tell you about another of Graham’s proposed amendments to tighten security in S.744 shortly.

About the photo:  LIRS used to have their grand building’s photo prominently displayed on their webpage, but I’ll be darned if I could find it there.  So it took me a few extra minutes with google images to locate the photo.

Update:  Ann Coulter has a zinger yesterday related to this story—Beware of liberals who come in Evangelicals’ clothing.