States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|December 22, 2010||
FORMER OWNER OF NEW HAVEN MARKET PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL FOOD STAMP FRAUD CHARGE
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that TALIB JAWAD KADHIM, 55, of Forbes Place, East Haven, pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to one count of food stamp fraud.
The federal Food Stamp Program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service and utilizes federal tax dollars to subsidize low-income households, affording such households the opportunity to achieve a more nutritious diet by increasing their food-purchasing power. Food stamp recipients purchase eligible food items at retail food stores through the use of an EBT card, which is similar to an ATM card. Food stamp benefits may be accepted by authorized retailers only in exchange for eligible items. Items such as alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, paper goods and soaps are not eligible for purchase with food stamp benefits, and it is a violation of the rules and regulations governing the food stamp program to allow benefits to be used to purchase ineligible items. Food stamp benefits may not lawfully be exchanged for cash under any circumstances. The program is designed so that the total amount of each purchase is electronically transferred to the retailer’s designated bank account.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from January 2008 to March 2009, KADHIM fraudulently redeemed food stamp benefits for cash and other ineligible items at a market he owned, Mari Mart, LLC, located at 519 Ferry Street in New Haven. He also caused or directed his employees at Mari Mart to exchange food stamp benefits for non-eligible items.
KADHIM is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson on March 11, 2011, at which time KADHIM faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Mari Mart has been under new ownership since mid-2009.
This case was investigated by agents of the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of the Inspector General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David T. Huang.
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