Convenience Store Owner and Manager Charged in Massive Food Stamp Fraud Scheme
Scheme Allegedly Caused at Least $1.9 Million in Losses to SNAP Program
DALLAS, Texas — Two North Texas men have been indicted on various felony offenses related to a massive food stamp fraud scheme they ran that allegedly caused at least $1.9 million in losses to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Kamardeen Ogunleye, 52, of Arlington, Texas, and Robert Gordon, 31, of Balch Springs, Texas, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud, five counts of food stamp fraud and aiding and abetting, and six counts of wire fraud. Ogunleye is also charged with two counts of structuring financial transactions.
Both Ogunleye and Gordon have made their initial appearances in federal court and have been released on bond. The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in Dallas in late January 2014, was unsealed this afternoon.
The indictment alleges that beginning in March 2010 and continuing until September 2013, the defendants conspired together and with others to run a scheme to commit food stamp fraud and wire fraud, and then one of the defendants, Ogunleye, structured financial transactions to avoid reporting requirements related to the proceeds of the scheme.
Ogunleye owned and operated KSO Dollar Mart, located at 1918 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Dallas. Gordon managed the business for Ogunleye. Ogunleye’s and Gordon’s scheme was funneled through this storefront, which offered very few food and beverage items to its customers.
According to the indictment Ogunleye and Gordon conspired to purchase food stamp benefits, administered through the SNAP, from actual recipients in exchange for cash at an approximate 50 percent exchange rate, meaning Ogunleye and Gordon would pay recipients approximately one dollar in exchange for every two dollars’ worth of benefits. Recipients were then free to spend the exchanged-for cash without restrictions imposed on SNAP benefits. The full amount of SNAP benefits redeemed, in exchange for discounted cash amounts, were deposited into Ogunleye’s bank accounts.
As a result of the conspiracy and scheme, Ogunleye and Gordon obtained significant profits and caused losses of at least $1.9 million to the SNAP. Ogunleye structured financial transactions involving the scheme’s proceeds to avoid and evade reporting requirements in an effort to conceal the scheme so that he and Gordon could use the proceeds for their own personal enrichment.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until or unless proven guilty. However, upon conviction, the charges carry the following maximum statutory penalties: conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud - five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; each of the food stamp fraud counts - 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; each of the wire fraud counts - 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine; and each of the structuring counts - 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General.
Assistant U.S. Attorney P. J. Meitl is in charge of the prosecution.
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