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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 3, 2015

Novi Man Sentenced To Prison for Food Stamp Fraud, Perjury and Unlawful Possession of Firearms

A Novi man was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison on July 30, 2015, for defrauding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program of more than $520,000, perjury before an immigration court, and being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today. Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen imposed sentenced on Laith Dallo, 46. According to information provided to the court at the defendant’s guilty plea and sentencing hearings, from June 2008 through May 2011, Dallo owned and operated Tweeny’s Pizza and Party Shop on McNichols Road in Detroit. During that period, the defendant engaged in a form of federal program fraud known as “discounting” by which SNAP benefits issued to legitimate beneficiaries were sold to Tweeny’s at a discount of approximately 50 percent. Thus, the beneficiaries received cash for half of the value of the SNAP benefits, which were intended for use only for the purchase of authorized food items, while 100 percent of the benefits were credited to Tweeny’s account. The defendant also sold unauthorized products, such as cigarettes and liquor, in exchange for SNAP benefits at highly inflated prices. On May 18, 2011, agents of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General executed a search warrant at Tweeny’s and discovered two loaded pistols, a loaded semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines in the store, as well as ammunition for the pistols and a holster in Dallo’s vehicle. Dallo was not authorized to possess firearms or ammunition due to prior felony convictions. Dallo testified at a 2010 immigration hearing pertaining to his Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, that he was leading a crime-free life, when, in fact, he was in the midst of executing the SNAP fraud scheme against the government. This testimony resulted in Dallo’s perjury conviction. After serving his sentence in this case, Dallo will be turned over to immigration authorities on their detainer for deportation proceedings. In addition to the custodial sentence, was ordered to pay restitution of $520,962.15. This case was investigated by USDA-Office of Inspector General, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig A. Weier.
Updated August 3, 2015