Hudson Men Convicted of Food Stamp Fraud
Exchanged Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars of Food Stamps for Cash
ALBANY, NEW YORK – A federal jury in Albany returned its verdict following the four-day trial of MOFADDAL M. MURSHED, 37, and AHMED A. ALGAHAIM, 54, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian, Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Region Special Agent in Charge William G. Squires, Jr., and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations Assistant Special Agent in Charge Nicholas DiNicola.
The jury found both defendants guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) fraud and one count of SNAP fraud. They face up to 5 years in prison on each count and are scheduled to be sentenced on April 13, 2015, in Albany.
“The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program was established to assist low income citizens and their families in getting enough food to eat consistent, nutritious meals. People who defraud the SNAP program not only are defeating the purpose of the program but are manipulating our tax dollars, which pay for the program, for their own gain, which is intolerable,” said United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian. “Our office will continue to work closely with partner agencies to intervene upon and end such abuse.”
“I’m very pleased to see this case brought to successful conclusion with today’s guilty verdicts,” said Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett. “I applaud the work of our Welfare Fraud Unit and the other members of the Columbia County Welfare Fraud Taskforce, working hand-in-hand with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to protect the financial integrity of our social welfare programs and ultimately safeguarding the taxpayers’ dollars from fraud and abuse. We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute these cases.”
Coconspirators FAISAL Q. MORSHED, 35, and IBRAHIM Q. MURSHED, 25, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit SNAP fraud and SNAP fraud on December 3, 2014. They, too, are scheduled to be sentenced on April 13, 2015, in Albany.
SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, uses tax dollars to subsidize food purchases by eligible low-income households. SNAP benefits may only be used to purchase food in approved retail food stores, and may not be exchanged for cash.
MOFADDAL M. MURSHED owned D&D Deli & Grocery, in Hudson, New York, where AHMED A. ALGAHAIM, FAISAL Q. MORSHED, AND IBRAHIM Q. MURSHED worked as employees. The defendants generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent proceeds by providing cash to SNAP beneficiaries in exchange for SNAP benefits.
The case was investigated by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Department of Homeland Security, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey C. Coffman.