Two Brothers Plead Guilty To Food Stamp Fraud
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Bandar Alsaidi, 28, and his brother, Talal Alsaidi, 31, of both of Buffalo NY, pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of food stamp benefits before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that the defendants participated in the operation of a business known as Big Boys Food Market located at 1129 East Ferry Street in Buffalo. On November 18, 2011, Bandar Alsaidi signed an application to accept food stamps as the sole proprietor of Big Boys. The store was authorized to accept food stamps beginning on January 18, 2012.
Between April 2012 and May 2013, the defendants, and others, knowingly purchased food stamp benefits for less than their full value for cash from eligible beneficiaries. Retailers are prohibited from exchanging cash for food stamps. During this time period, the defendants each exchanged approximately $147,658.28 of food stamp benefits for cash.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge William G. Squires Jr. and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge J. Michael Kennedy.
Sentencing is scheduled for November 3, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Richard J. Arcara.