Arlington, Texas, Convenience Store Owner Pleads Guilty to Food Stamp Fraud, Wire Fraud and Conducting an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business
FORT WORTH, Texas — Ali Ugas Mohamud of Arlington, Texas, pleaded guilty this week to an indictment charging him with seven counts of food stamp fraud, five counts of wire fraud and one count of conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
According to documents filed in the case, Mohamud owns Tawakal Grocery Store, located on South Collins Street in Arlington and was authorized to participate in the United States Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the “Food Stamp Program.” SNAP recipients are issued an electronic benefit card (EBT), commonly referred to in Texas as a “Lone Star Card,” in order to access SNAP benefits.
From time to time, beginning in 2009, Mohamud knowingly exchanged food stamp benefits for cash or wired money to other individuals in Somalia using food stamp benefits. As part of his scheme to defraud and to obtain money, from September 2008 through February 2010, Mohamud also wired thousands of dollars from Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., which operates EBT management for retailers, to his bank in Arlington.
Each count of food stamp fraud and the charge of conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business carry a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each wire fraud count carries a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for January 25, 2013, before U.S. District Judge John McBryde.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Office of Inspector General, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission - Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Office of Inspector General.
Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Michael Worley is in charge of the prosecution.
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