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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 3, 2015

Men Sentenced For Food Stamp Fraud

Court Orders Defendants to pay $1.7 Million Dollars Restitution

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Two men who previously pled guilty to federal charges of Conspiracy to Commit Food Stamp Fraud were sentenced to terms of incarceration in U. S. District Court in Syracuse. Ebrima KRUBALLY, 46, of Syracuse, NY, was sentenced to 48 months incarceration and Alieu JAITEH, 32, also of Syracuse, was sentenced to 18 months incarceration according to U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Brian Devine, Resident Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, Syracuse Office. U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby also ordered both to pay restitution of $1,709,304.81 in connection with the fraud scheme. JIATEH is also facing possible deportation as a result of this conviction as well as for other immigration violations.

KRUBALLY, a naturalized U.S. citizen from The Gambia, had been employed by the New York Department of Transportation as an engineer. KRUBALLY also owned and operated MAMA’s Imports, a food store formerly located at 529 N. State Street, Syracuse, NY. JAITEH, a foreign national, also from The Gambia, is a former employee of MAMA’s Imports. Between 2009 and 2012, the defendants conspired to commit more than $1.7 million fraud scheme by exchanging SNAP (Food Stamp) benefit coupons (including electronic benefits cards) for a discounted amount of cash or non-food items (i.e., clothing, cellular phones, DVD’s).

The Food Stamp Program is now referred to as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP uses tax dollars to subsidize food purchases by eligible low-income or no-income households. SNAP benefits may only be used to purchase food in approved retail food stores, and may not be exchanged for cash or non-food items.

These sentencings are the culmination of a joint investigation conducted by Special Agents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the investigative component of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York in Syracuse. Substantial assistance was also provided throughout the investigation by the Onondaga County Department of Social Services’ Welfare Fraud Unit, Oneida County Social Services, and the New York State Police.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Geoff Brown. Further questions may be directed to Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney John Duncan at 315-448-0672.

Updated April 6, 2015