Thanks to reader Robin for spotting this story with yet again a slightly different twist on the increasingly common scam. The gas station owners weren’t even eligible to trade in food stamps, they were just buying cards (at a discounted rate) from customers who wanted quick cash.
GROVE CITY — State agents cracked down on a gas station shop owner and his employee, who allegedly cheated taxpayers out of hundreds of dollars in a matter of days.
Taxpayers lost $3 billion*** every year in food stamp fraud, according to an undercover video. Mohammed Aqel and Ahmad Hijazi are accused of contributing to that figure by trafficking food stamp cards in Grove City.
The men were apparently accepting the cards even though their Marathon shop on Broadway is not certified to take the welfare.
Undercover agents with the Ohio Investigative Unit said they posed as customers at this Marathon more than twice in the last few weeks. They said they sold the suspects three EBT cards for more than $100 cash. The benefits on the cards amount to five times that price.
Agents said Aqel and Hijazi spent it all. They suspect they either bought groceries for their own homes or stocked the shelves at the business. The duo faces felony charges and risk losing their liquor license. [What the heck! Gas station owners in Ohio can get liquor licenses?—ed]
For new readers, we follow food stamp fraud cases here at RRW as a side interest. Click here for dozens and dozens of food stamp fraud cases involving immigrant-run Mom & Pop stores.
Go here for information on reporting suspected food stamp fraud in your town.
***Related, see also this December story in the New York Times confirming the $3 billion in SNAP fraud the Dept. of Agriculture is uncovering.