Bessemer Man Pleads Guilty to Food Stamp Fraud and Filing False Immigration Documents
BIRMINGHAM – A Bessemer man and former Jefferson County school teacher pleaded guilty today in federal court to food stamp fraud and falsely claiming a woman as his wife on immigration forms, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Maley and ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr.
SALEEM ABDUL RASHEED, 30, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre. He is scheduled for sentencing July 12.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed the charges against Rasheed in February. In his guilty plea, Rasheed acknowledged that on April 2, 2010, he signed a Department of Homeland Security form I-751, a Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence, for a woman whom he claimed to be his wife. Rasheed was, however, legally married to another woman. Rasheed also pleaded guilty to receiving $5,551 in Family and Food Assistance, from October 2009 until April 2010, while claiming that he was unemployed. He was, however, working as a teacher for the Jefferson County Board of Education during that time.
The maximum sentence for knowingly making a false statement on a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum sentence for food stamp fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Michael W. Whisonant is prosecuting the case.
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