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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 9, 2016

Three People Arrested in FBI Operation

Contact Person: Beth Drake (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina -------- Sherif Abdelwahab Alkassar, age 36, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Lesley Amanda Alkassar, age 38, of Blacksburg, South Carolina, and Katie Leighanne Polson, age 29, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; were arrested June 9, 2016,on charges of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT card) fraud, a violation of Title 7 United States Code, Section 2024.

Sherif Abdelwahab Alkassar, was also charged with Mail Fraud, a violation of Title 18 USC 1341, and making False Statements relating to Naturalization/Citizenship, a violation of Title 18 USC 1015.

William Nettles, U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina, made the announcement after the Defendants’ initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kaymani D. West, Florence, South Carolina.

Each faces a maximum possible penalty of not more than twenty years in prison if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Each Defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS/ICE),and the United State Department of Agriculture USDA (USDA). The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Max Cauthen of the Greenville office for prosecution.

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Updated June 9, 2016