FORMER OWNER OF NEW HAVEN MARKET SENTENCED
TO 15 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR FOOD STAMP FRAUD
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that TALIB JAWAD KADHIM, 56, of Forbes Place, East Haven, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 15 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for engaging in 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.
Through this scheme, KADHIM defrauded the Food Stamp Program of $94,049.59. Today, Chief Judge Thompson ordered KADHIM to pay full restitution to the government.
On December 22, 2010, KADHIM pleaded guilty to one count of food stamp fraud.
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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David T. Huang.
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