Two Philadelphia Men Charged With Defrauding Assistance Program
PHILADELPHIA - Abdoulaye Diallo, 50, and Lassana Nianghane, 51, both of Philadelphia, PA, were charged by indictment, unsealed today, with conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Both defendants were arrested today.
According to the indictment, Diallo, the owner and operator of Brothers Food Market, located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, trafficked in SNAP benefits with SNAP program beneficiaries by purchasing benefits for cash, which is illegal. It is further alleged that Nianghane, also known as the “purse man,” aided Diallo by acting as the initial contact person for beneficiaries who wanted to sell their SNAP benefits for cash. According to the indictment, instead of accompanying SNAP beneficiaries to Brothers Food Market, defendant Nianghane telephoned defendant Diallo and relayed to Diallo the particulars of the proposed illegal sales over the phone.
Between June of 2011 and May of 2014, according to the indictment, Diallo submitted to USDA, on behalf of Brothers, total SNAP reimbursements of approximately $1.1 million.
If convicted, Diallo and Nianghane face a substantial period of incarceration, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $1.8 million, and restitution.
The case was investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Floyd J. Miller.