NJ couple ripped-off U.S. taxpayers for $4.5 million in food stamp fraud scheme

NJ couple ripped-off U.S. taxpayers for $4.5 million in food stamp fraud scheme
YouTube, WSJ video

[Ed. – Allow big government to build an entitlement, and some enterprising crook will find a way to exploit it.]

A married Wayne couple who managed a grocery store sold $4 million worth of food stamps for cash, federal authorities charged.

Ibrahim Zughbi, 64, Miriam Zughbi, 59, have operated Jamaica Meat Market, a medium-size grocery store in Paterson, since January 2014.

They were authorized to accept benefits provided by SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.”Retail food stores approved for participation in SNAP may sell food in exchange for SNAP benefits,” Carpenito said. “They may not exchange SNAP benefits for cash.”

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Noticing a high volume deducted electronically through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) debit cards, federal authorities employed a confidential source “who, at the direction of law enforcement, engaged in 16 ‘purchases’ at Jamaica Meat Market where one or both defendants exchanged money for SNAP benefits,” the U.S. attorney said.

Ibrahim Zughbi previously participated in SNAP when he was the owner of Neighborhood Supermarket, a grocery store that operated out of the same location.

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