Last week we told you (here) about the bust on a convenience store in culturally-diverse Cleveland where chief perp Mohammad D. Mohammad and partners ripped-off the US taxpayer for $780,000 in a long-running food stamp trafficking scheme.
The case was used in a story posted at MediaTrackers to give a lead-in to a new report on how widespread the fraud is.
The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector called cases like Mohammad’s—the “tip of the iceberg.”
A recently released USDA study found that the payoff for food-stamp traffickers has increased by over 256 percent since 2002. The nation’s food stamp rolls have increased dramatically in the past several years.
According to the study, the absolute dollar value of food-stamp fraud has increased, but government researchers found that more businesses were participating in such fraud — especially grocery stores in low-income neighborhoods, such as the Mount Pleasant neighborhood where Mohammad and Damra ran his scam for nearly a decade.
In an interview with Media Trackers, Heritage Foundation senior research fellow and domestic-policy expert Robert Rector indicated the Mohammad case was likely “just the tip of the iceberg.”
You can find the August 2013 study here. One finding of the report, using data from 2009-2011, is this:
A variety of store characteristics and settings were associated to the level of trafficking. Small stores—largely composed of smaller and medium sized groceries, and convenience stores—accounted for about 15 per cent of all redemptions, but were estimated to account for 85 percent of all trafficking redemptions.
I didn’t read the study, but I doubt they did any research on how many of these stores are run by immigrants.
For dozens of similar cases, click here for our entire ‘food stamp fraud’ archive.