A Tough Market

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Breaking into a market with the goal of making a profit can be a challenging, arduous task. To ensure consumers will purchase the product and/or service that you are selling, you’ll need to differentiate yourself in the market. According to a Dayton Daily News article, one fraudster broke into a small, illegal market and made a grand profit – that is sending him to jail.

Imagine stepping into a market and in a short period of time netting $3.8 million – sounds like a dream, right? (If it concerns fraud, then I’d say it’s a nightmare – you’re bound to end up in jail.? For one Dayton View business man, this dream came shattering to pieces as the judge sentenced him to one year and a day in prison, followed by restitution and three years of probation for his food stamp scheme. The defendant, along with three co-fraudsters, created a system to defraud the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), by illegally paying individuals for their food stamps. Investigators found that these transactions were done at two food markets, owned by our infamous fraudster, where the ”consumer” received $0.50 to every $1.00 of food stamps traded. The defendant and his fraudster buddies then used the food stamps to buy products not legal under the program, such as clothing and weapons. (Easy to make a profit off of these items – and the fact that this is completely illegal, making competition scarce.)

Investigators tracked the bank accounts used by the food stamp fraudster. Records show that he had a habit of withdrawing large amounts of money from the banks accounts where his illegal earnings were deposited. (A bit of a spendthrift, huh?? Additional investigations revealed that the fraudster and his cohorts used the money withdrawn to pay for personal expenses like rent, mortgage and other bills. (What? No cars?? While the U.S. Attorney representing the case urged for maximum penalty for the fraudster, his important status within his community may have been his saving grace, as he didn’t receive the strongest penalty possible; although a year in prison is not something to look forward to.

Regardless of the profit, I am sure these men will think twice before breaking into another illegal market. It’s going to be pretty tough to pay back $3.8 million – especially while you’re sitting in jail. I would personally refer to their inconvenient situation as a ”market crash.”

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Man in $3.8 Million Food Stamp Fraud Case Sentenced,” written by Cornelius Frolik and published by Dayton Daily News on December 13, 2012.

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Al-Idu Al-Gaheem to one year and one day in prison for his role in a scheme that bilked $3.8 million from the federal food stamp program.

Al-Gaheem, the former owner of two Dayton View businesses and the imam of Masjid At-Taqwa mosque, was the second of four defendants to be sentenced in the case. All four defendants have pleaded guilty.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.