THREE CHARGED WITH FOOD STAMP FRAUD CONSPIRACY
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2012
Public Affairs Officer
DAYTON – A federal grand jury has charged George J. Daoud, 61, his wife, Lama Daoud, 43, both of Washington Township, and Nicholas G. Butcher, 53, of Fairborn, with conspiring to commit food stamp fraud through the Main Express Food Mart they owned and operated in Fairborn, Ohio.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Joe Smith, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (USDA), James Vanderberg, Special Agent in Charge, Chicago Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, Mark Porter, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, and Robert Booker, Executive Director, Ohio Investigative Unit announced the indictment today.
The indictment alleges that on at least 500 separate occasions between May 2007 and January 2012, the defendants conspired to illegally acquire, possess and use USDA EBT food stamp access devices. The indictment alleges that they illegally provided cash, and items including tobacco, alcohol and drug paraphernalia to customers in exchange for the EBT cards.
The indictment accuses them of transferring the cash value of the cards into bank accounts they established for their own personal benefit.
Conspiracy is punishable by a sentence of up to ten years in prison. George Daoud is also charged with 44 counts of wire fraud, each punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and 46 counts of unauthorized possession of benefits, each punishable by up to five years in prison.
George Daoud is also charged with one count of theft, punishable by up to ten years in prison, for collecting two years of unemployment benefits while he was self-employed at the Main Express Market and claiming that he was unemployed.
The indictment also seeks forfeiture of the contents of five bank accounts, currency and a Lexus that was allegedly bought with proceeds of the fraud.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Stewart commended the cooperative investigation between agents of the USDA Inspector General, Labor Inspector General, Secret Service and the Ohio Investigative Unit which is part of the Ohio Department of Public Safety. He also recognized Assistant U.S. Attorney Dwight Keller, who is prosecuting the case.