Food Stamp Fraud Charges Announced Against Cincinnati Market Owner
Public Affairs Officer
DAYTON, OHIO– A federal grand jury has indicted Moustaphe Toure, 54, of Cincinnati, charging him with illegally exchanging “food stamp” cards for cash and other ineligible items including a firearm.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Derrick Hurst, Acting Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (USDA), Mark Porter, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, and John Born, Director, Ohio Department of Public Safety announced the indictment today after Toure was arraigned in U.S. District Court. The indictment was returned on May 27, 2014.
According to the indictment, Toure owned and operated a retail store known as Quick Stop Convenience Store and Sarah Carryout. The indictment charges him with 20 counts of unauthorized use and possession of federal food stamp access devices, each of which is punishable by up to five years in prison. Toure is also charged with 23 counts of wire fraud for using the illegally acquired cards to access the balances on the cards. Each count is punishable by up to 30 years in prison. The indictment also charges Toure with one count of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm, a crime punishable by up to ten years in prison.
Toure appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Newman and entered pleas of not guilty. U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black will schedule a trial for Toure, who was arrested on May 7 and is being held without bond.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program is a federally funded national nutrition assistance program jointly administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and individual state agencies. In Ohio, this program is administered by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Allegations of fraud in the system are investigated on the federal level by the USDA Office of Inspector General and on the state level by the Ohio Investigative Unit in the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
Stewart commended the cooperative investigation between agents of the USDA Inspector General, Secret Service, and the Ohio Investigative Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dwight Keller, who is prosecuting the case.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.