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Justice News

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Employee Of Yonkers Dollar Store Sentenced In White Plains Federal Court To Two Years In Prison For Million-Dollar Food Stamp Fraud

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that KHALIL MOUGHAWECH was sentenced yesterday in White Plains federal court to a term of 24 months in prison and ordered to pay $1 million in restitution and $1 million in forfeiture for committing food stamp fraud from September 2010 to August 2013 at the Peso Value Plus store in Yonkers, New York.  MOUGHAWECH was found guilty at a jury trial in February 2015.  United States District Judge Vincent L. Briccetti imposed the sentence yesterday.

According to the Superseding Indictment and the evidence presented at trial:

MOUGHAWECH was the manager of the Peso Value Plus store between 2010 and August 2013, and often operated the store’s cash register.  Peso Value Plus participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), also known as the Food Stamp Program, where food stamp recipients could redeem their SNAP benefits using an electronic benefits transfer card to purchase eligible food items.  Between approximately September 2010 and August 2013, MOUGHAWECH conspired with others to exchange SNAP benefits for cash illegally.  The fraud resulted in a loss of $1 million to the SNAP Program.

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In addition to the prison sentence, MOUGHAWECH, 42, of the Bronx, New York, was ordered to pay $1,000,000 in restitution to the United States Department of Agriculture and to forfeit $1,000,000.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General and the Yonkers Police Department.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel Filor and Benjamin Allee are in charge of the prosecution.

Updated June 10, 2015