Food stamp scammer in Buffalo gets light sentence

He could have gotten up to 20 years in the slammer, a $250,000 fine, or both.

EBT Nation! This is our standard illustration for food stamp fraud stories when we can’t find photos of the perps, which happens a lot! Don’t want to profile those immigrant fraudsters by showing their faces!

Instead, Karem Almadrahi, got eight months home detention and three years’ probation. He has to pay, you, the taxpayers restitution of $67,301.  I suspect that will be hard to do while working legally!

By the way, Riyadh Almadrahi (brother?) got $143,700 through fraud in the same store, here.

This case, which we reported earlier, also contains an interesting nugget of information.  Only rarely do we see Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement involved in these Agriculture Dept. fraud investigations.

Almadrahi must have been flagged for some immigration violation, but the media is loathe to mention that.  Now he can just chill until Congress and Obama get amnesty signed into law.

This is the whole short news report from Sandpoint PR:

BUFFALO, NY June 18, 2013 — U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Karem Almadrahi, 25, of Buffalo, New York, who was convicted of food stamp fraud, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to eight months of home confinement and three years’ probation. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $67, 301 to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert C. Moscati, who handled the case, stated that Almadrahi participated in the operation of a deli known as Zip’s Food and Beverage at 896 Niagara Street. The defendant and others exchanged customers food stamp benefits for cash in violation of the known rules governing the food stamp program. In less than a two-year period, Almadrahi acquired approximately $67,301 through these fraudulent transactions.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation on the part of special agents of the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General; special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero; and the New York State Police, Special Investigations Unit, under the direction of Lieutenant Joseph Scioli.

Food stamp fraud is a side interest of mine.  In cities like Buffalo with a high refugee and immigrant population generally, food stamp fraudsters set up these convenience store scams.  Buffalo is one of those cities touted as a special place where immigrants are re-building the city. (yeh right! with welfare from the federal taxpayer).

Here is our complete food stamp fraud archive (for years I didn’t do tags, so use the archive for dozens of posts like this one).

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