O'FALLON MAN SENTENCED TO 33 MONTHS FOR FOOD STAMP FRAUD AND WIRE FRAUD – FACES DEPORTATION TO JORDAN
An O’Fallon man convicted of Food Stamp Fraud and Wire Fraud was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison on June 16, 2011, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Rami Mohammad, 33, of O’Fallon, Ill.-, who is also a citizen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, legally entered the United States on March 3, 2004, and managed the Quick Stop Convenience store in Washington Park, Illinois. Based upon reports of unlawful transactions in food stamp benefits at the store, the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of the Inspector General, (“USDA-OIG”) began an undercover investigation. Mohammad was captured on audio and video engaging in a “cash back” scheme in which fictional transactions allowed Mohammad to receive the value of the food stamp benefits in exchange for much lesser amounts of cash paid back to the food stamp beneficiaries. A review of financial records showed that Mohammad took part in a scheme to defraud in which more than $1.5 million in benefits unlawfully were diverted from the food stamp program.
“Theft of government funds, in any form, through any scheme, by any person, will not be tolerated.” said United States Attorney Wigginton.
At sentencing, the district court found Mohammad responsible for $1,590,409.31 in loss and ordered both forfeiture in this amount as well as restitution to the USDA. The district court informed Mohammad that he would likely be deported upon completion of his sentence.
This sentencing follows an investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin F. Burke.