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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 6, 2022

St. Cloud Man Sentenced to Prison for Food Stamp, Covid Assistance Fraud

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A St. Cloud man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $4,187,999.72, in restitution for wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, from 2009 through 2021, Hared Nur Jibril, 60, owned and operated Hormud Meat and Grocery Market located in St. Cloud, Minnesota. In 2009, Jibril completed the application and agreement and signed the required certifications for the Hormud Market to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). At that time Hormud Market was also authorized as a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) vendor. The SNAP and WIC programs are run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in collaboration with the states. Both programs required Jibril to periodically recertify compliance. From 2018 through 2021, Jibril and other employees of Hormud Market devised and participated in a scheme to defraud the USDA by exchanging SNAP and WIC benefits for cash and ineligible items including, phone minutes, personal care products, and prepared food from Jibril’s adjoining restaurant. The scheme resulted in a loss amount of more than $4.1 million to the SNAP and WIC programs.

According to court documents, during the spring and summer of 2020, Minnesota provided unemployment insurance benefits to assist individuals who had lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite his continued self-employment at the Hormud Market, Jibril applied to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for unemployment benefits, falsely claiming that he had been laid off from work due to COVID-19. DEED granted his application for benefits, which were ultimately funded by the United States Department of the Treasury as part of pandemic relief efforts. In total, Jabril received more than $32,724 in unemployment assistance.

Jibril was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Eric C. Tostrud. On December 1, 2021, Jabril pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the USDA-OIG, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Labor-OIG, and the Minnesota Department of Health.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah E. Huddleston.

Topic(s): 
Coronavirus
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated April 6, 2022