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Press Release

Deli Operators Plead Guilty To Food Stamp Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Hicham Khallad, and Karim Euchi, both 47 and of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to food stamp fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) uses federal tax dollars to help low-income individuals purchase food. Eligible individuals are provided with a debit card containing their SNAP benefits, from which they can make food purchases at authorized food stores. A business that accepts SNAP benefits must be authorized to do so and can only accept SNAP benefits in connection with the sale of eligible food products. It is unlawful for any store to accept SNAP benefits for non-food items, such as cigarettes, beer, or for cash.

Between May 2018 and February 2019, Khallad and Euchi operated the Joseph Market at 900 Joseph Avenue in Rochester, which was owned by Khallad’s wife. During that time, the defendants knowingly and unlawfully accepted SNAP benefits from customers in exchange for non-food items, such as cigarettes. Khallad and Euchi also purchased food stamp benefits for less than their full value for cash, resulting in a profit for the defendants.

The actions of the defendants caused the United States Government to deposit approximately $154,000 into the Joseph Market’s bank accounts for food that was never purchased.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent-in Charge Bethanne M. Dinkins; Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; and the Monroe County Department of Social Services, under the direction of Commissioner Corinda Crossdale.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 10, 2020, before Judge Geraci.  

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Updated January 6, 2020

Financial Fraud