Thomas Phippen | Reporter
What do an Iranian millionaire, a accompaniment senator, a biologic banker and a bedmate accept in common? They all face charges of misusing aliment stamps this year.
Around 44 actor bodies accustomed allowances from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Affairs (SNAP), additionally alleged aliment stamps, in 2016. The accomplished affairs amount about $70 billion.
Generally, alone 1 cent of anniversary dollar is spent fraudulently, according to the best contempo accessible abstracts from the Department of Agriculture (USDA), which manages the program. Still, that’s about $700 actor dollars of federal aborigine money that was acceptable ashen this accomplished year.
Here are few of the strangest cases of aliment brand artifice in 2016.
State agent bent on the dole
An Arizona Democratic administrator was accusable for illegally accepting aliment stamps and falsifying her appliance to the affairs in June. (RELATED: Democratic Administrator Accusable On Aliment Brand Fraud)
Cecilia Velasquez eventually pleaded accusable to accuse that she gave a apocryphal abode on a aliment stamps application, and falsely claimed to accept two dependents. She additionally accepted to absolution two added bodies use her Electronic Allowances Transfer (EBT) card.
Velasquez absent her Senate seat, and now is on acquittal because she got $1,726 annual of aliment stamps amid 2013 and 2015.
Millionaire descended from Iranian ability got $8,000 in aliment stamps
An Ohio millionaire descended from Iranian ability was accusable for abundance artifice in December after prosecutors adduce he fraudulently took $45,000 in Medicare allowances and received $8,400 in aliment stamps.
Mahvi, 65, insists that he is innocent, that alike admitting he has an 8,000-square-foot home, complete with horse stables, a pond pool, and a barn area he parks his Lexus, his ancestors gets actual little assets and lives off of loans from friends.
Local prosecutors disagree, and accept affiliated the man to a $4 actor annual in a Swiss bank. Mahvi is affiliated to oil companies and holds a majority allotment in a affluence auberge and resort amid on the island of St. Lucia.
Mormon bedmate leaders allegedly told their congregants to accord their aliment stamps to the church
Eleven leaders of the Fundamentalist Abbey Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), a Mormon bedmate sect, including the avoiding Lyle Steed Jeffs, were answerable with cabal to bamboozle the aliment stamps affairs this year.
The FLDS leaders accept aliment stamps, like every added asset and possession, accord to the abbey and association as a whole. This runs anon adjoin regulations administering the SNAP program. Some were appear over the summer, but abandoned the agreement of their absolution by affair together. They went aback to bastille area they anticipate balloon aing year. (RELATED: Alleged Bedmate Fraudsters Altercate Religious Right To Accord Aliment Stamps)
Prosecutors altercate the abbey leaders acclimated $12 actor annual of aliment stamps — acceptance to assorted congregants — to banal shelves in their association aliment and acclimated gain to pay for things like new trucks and home repairs.
Jeffs slipped his abate monitor in June and has not been heard from since. Authorities offered a $50,000 accolade for advice arch to his capture, but the man is so abysmal in ambuscade that his own acknowledged admonition wondered this abatement whether the de facto baton of the bedmate camp had absolutely been raptured by Jesus.
Store buyer “used aliment stamps program as an ATM”
Michael Paul Atkinson Jr., buyer of Midway Market in Macon, Ga., raked in added than $5 million by making fake accuse to customers’ EBT cards. He was sentenced to bristles years in prison. (RELATED: Georgia Man ‘Used Aliment Brand Affairs As An ATM,’ Defrauds Accompaniment Of $5 Million)
“The actor acclimated the aliment brand affairs as an ATM,” U.S. Advocate John Horn said in a news release from the Department of Justice.
From 2010 to 2015, Atkinson would arena up absolutely affected items on a banknote register, allegation the items to a customer’s EBT card, again accord the chump banknote to buy disqualified articles like non-food items, booze or tobacco, from the store. Atkinson rang up $5.14 actor over a five-year period.
New York man allegedly awash constructed pot for aliment stamps
Speaking of disqualified aliment stamps items, one man was bent this year affairs Spice, a constructed marijuana product, to aliment stamps users.
“Yousif Mosleh was answerable with peddling alarming constructed drugs in New York City neighborhoods and allotment his biologic sales by abusing a arrangement created to abetment the best accessible in our society,” Preet Bharara, U.S. advocate for Manhattan, said in a statement.
A bite operation involving bent informants bent Mosleh affairs bales of K2, fabricated from dried, abounding bulb amount sprayed with chemicals. When ingested, it delivers a aerial agnate to the THC begin in marijuana.
Authorities arrested Mosleh in September and answerable him with cabal to breach the SNAP program.
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Editor’s Note: This story initially appear that SNAP decay was about 70 million, but that cardinal is actually $700 million.
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