Westbrook Man Convicted for SNAP and WIC Trafficking Conspiracy
Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced that Abdulkareem Daham, 22, of Westbrook, Maine, was convicted today following a three-day jury trial in U.S. District Court of conspiracy to defraud and to commit offenses against the United States. The charges arise out of the defendant’s employment at Ahram Halal Market on Forest Avenue in Portland.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) is a federal government program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, designed to raise the level of nutrition among low-income households. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (“WIC”) is a federal program that provides supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition for certain low-income women, and to infants and children up to age five who were found to be nutritionally at risk.
According to court records, from 2011 through April 2016, the defendant conspired with his brother, Ali Ratib Daham, to give cash to customers at Ahram in exchange for SNAP or WIC benefits plus a fee, in violation of the rules of these programs and federal law. During that period, Ahram received over $4 million in SNAP and WIC receipts, at least $1.4 million of which were obtained illegally.
The defendant faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. Ali Ratib Daham pleaded guilty on November 28, 2017 to SNAP and WIC trafficking conspiracy, money laundering and theft of federal MaineCare funds and awaits sentencing.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General; the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Fraud Investigation and Recovery Unit.