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Justice News

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

Friday, October 24, 2014

Deli Shop Worker Pleads Guilty to Food Stamp Fraud


Buffalo, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr., announced today that Nasser Ali Ghanem, 34 of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara, to unauthorized acquisition of food stamp benefits. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiGiacomo, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant participated in the operation of a deli shop known as Hollywood Nights Prime Shop on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. From October 2008 through January 2011, Ghanem purchased food stamp benefits from food stamp recipients for cash at less than their full value. The total loss amount to the United States Department of Agriculture is estimated at $67,139.00.

The plea was the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of William G. Squires Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Northeast Region.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 26, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.
Updated November 19, 2014