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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie

    Four men accused in food-stamp fraud that funneled funds overseas

    Four men accused in food-stamp fraud that funneled funds overseas

    By John Caniglia,
    The Plain Dealer

    on March 14, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A convenience store on Detroit Avenue did more than sell food and beer, federal prosecutors say. It offered customers an unlicensed business for overseas money transfers.

    A grand jury indicted four men on charges of conspiracy to fleece the food stamp program. The store submitted claims for $670,612 in federal benefits from food programs in the past several years, according to the charges filed this week in U.S. District Court.

    The grand jury charged Bashir Mohamed, 31, of Cleveland; Yusuf Maalin, 45, of Cleveland; Ali Shire Ahmed, 54, of North Olmsted, Ohio; and Farah Hasan Warsame, 27, of Cleveland. Attempts to reach their attorneys were unsuccessful.

    The charges came 14 months after federal agents raided the Halane Market at 8401 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, and seized receipts, ledgers, computer equipment and cellphone information, records show. A federal magistrate sealed the search warrant affidavits in the case.

    The indictment said Mohamed, Maalin, Ahmed and Warsame are accused of illegally allowing customers to redeem benefits from food programs in exchange for money, certain goods and credit toward wire transfers to foreign countries, including Saudi Arabia and Kenya.

    For instance, in April 2011, a confidential informant exchanged $251 in food stamps for the same amount in credit for a wire transfer to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, according to the indictment. The federal government would later reimburse the store for its handling of the food stamps.

    The indictment alleged that various aspects of the scheme were recorded in a ledger at the store, where all the men but Ahmed worked.

    The indictment said the men ran a "hawala,'' an informal, unlicensed money transmitting service to transfer money between the United State and other countries. The indictment makes clear that federal agents used informants to obtain illegal benefits from the food stamp programs and send money overseas.

    Federal prosecutors said Mohamed or Maalin would provide Ahmed with cash or a check that Ahmed would take to Columbus to send overseas by wire transfer.

    The indictment gives no hint of what happened to the money once it was funneled overseas. In some cases, undercover officers accepted the payments once they reached foreign countries.

    Agents from the FBI, Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Agricultureworked the investigation. The indictment says authorities began examining the store in December 2010.

  2. #2
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    The USA is importing millions of illegal aliens a year. If they break the law to get here, they'll sure repeatedly break it once they're embedded (but not assimilated) into our society.

    8401 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland Ohio
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