Three Metro Area Men Indicted For Food Stamp Fraud
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today that Alaa K. Jaber (a/k/a “Ace”), 27, of Hazelwood, Missouri, Rami M. Abou Amra (a/k/a “Lucky”), 35, of Troy, Illinois, and Albraa K. Sabrah (a/k/a “Roy”), 25, of Bridgeton Missouri, were each indicted by the federal grand jury on charges that they stole Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or “SNAP” (f/k/a Food Stamp) benefits while working at quick shop stores in East St. Louis, Illinois.
The three indictments allege that during varying times from 2010 through 2012, the defendants illegally paid customers cash in exchange for SNAP benefits. Jaber was charged in five counts; Abou Amra and Sabrah were each charged in three counts. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and up to 3 years of supervised release.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge and is entitled to a fair trial at which the Government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by agents of the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Office of Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ranley R. Killian.