Fourteen people have been arrested in Baltimore in connection with a 16 million dollar food stamp fraud operation. There were 17 locations in all, with one owner taking in over 3.5 million dollars. The stores would pay food stamp recipients about 50 cents on the dollar for their benefits. They would then charge multiple sales on the card over a period of a few days to help hide the scam. Those arrested include:
Walayat Khan, Barbara Ann Duke, Shaheen Tasewar Hussain, Kelym Novas Perez, Jose Remedio Gonzalez Reyes, Mulazam Hussain, Mahmood Hussain Shah, Muhammad Rafiq, Mohammad Shafiq, Alia Shaheen, Mohammad Irfan, Muhammad Sarmad, Rizwan Pervez and Kassem Mohammad Hafeed.
Notice anything in common?
Now, let me be clear. There is no indication that any of these people have done anything other than the fraud they are charged with. However, since terrorists have used our welfare system to fund their activities, how much of a stretch would it be to worry that “refugees” could use welfare fraud such as this to raise funds for their terrorism? Moreover, the food stamp program was originally designed to provide nutritious food for the needy. So, why are we allowing convenience stores that are not noted for nutritious food to be an authorized store?
“Honest store owners work hard to earn a profit by actually selling food, and food producers and distributors also benefit. People who play by the rules deserve to know that criminals who defraud them will be held accountable,” said Rod Rosenstein, an attorney who worked with the FBI on the case.
The 14 store owners in on the deal used an elaborate system of purchasing, debiting, and phone ordering food items from each others’ stores in order to defraud the food stamp system. In some cases the prices of the food items were increased dramatically or the money obtained was split with the customers.