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Press Release

Local Man Pleads Guilty In Welfare Fraud Scheme

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A Pittsburgh-area resident pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of mail fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Mahmoud Al-Rifai, 43, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from on or about Jan. 12, 2012, and continuing to on or about July 25, 2012, Al-Rifai filed a fraudulent online application with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare which resulted in the receipt of benefits to which he was not entitled.

Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for Aug. 22, 2013. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense(s) and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney James T. Kitchen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Mahmoud Al-Rifai.

Updated July 14, 2015