News and Press Releases

Local owner of gravois discount smokes pleads guilty to food stamp fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2014

 

St. Louis, MO – EBRAHEEM MAKI NAIF, St. Louis, Missouri, pled guilty Monday to food stamp fraud. 

According to court documents, from January 2008 through May 2012, Naif, doing business as Abes Gravois Discount, also known as Gravois Discount Smokes, redeemed approximately $1,903,402 in food stamp benefits and received the same in federal appropriated money as reimbursement for the food stamp sales.  In 2011, Naif redeemed $690,198 in food stamp transactions.  During that same time period, Naif reported to the City of St. Louis the cost of the goods he sold in 2011 was $25,750 and that he received $80,800 in gross receipts for the sale of those goods. In his plea, Naif admitted that he conducted illegal food stamp transactions and allowed customers to purchase merchandise such as cigarettes, cologne, calling cards, as well as receiving cash back for food stamp sales. Naif admitted that due to his illegal food stamp sales he caused losses of at least $609,398 in 2011. Naif also agreed to forfeit $30,765 and a vehicle seized from him during the investigation.

Naif pled guilty to one felony count of food stamp fraud before United States District Judge Rodney Sippel.  Sentencing has been set for August 11, 2014. 

Food stamp fraud carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.  In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Drake is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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