Stamp of Disapproval

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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp program, provides federal aid to approved beneficiaries with little or no income living within the U.S. (Tax dollars subsidize specific food purchases at approved retail food stores.) An article posted on Syracuse.com tells about two men who capitalized on others’ misfortune by raking in about $1.7 million at their retail store through the exchange of food stamps for unapproved items.

The story states that for more than three years, the owner of a Syracuse retail store and an employee accepted SNAP benefit coupons in exchange for cash or non-food items such as clothing, cell phones and DVDs. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but that doesn’t sound like food at all.)

The 46-year-old store owner, who was also a state employee, was sentenced to four years in prison for conspiring to commit food stamp fraud. The 32-year-old former employee was sentenced to 18 months for his part in the crime. (Not to mention he is now facing deportation along with other immigration violations.) The two men were ordered to pay approximately $1.7 million in restitution.

SNAP is essentially a hunger safety net that provides nutrition assistance to millions of individuals and families who need to put food on the table. (Unfortunately, the program is also a big target for those criminals who seek to serve themselves without regard to the hunger of others.) Congratulations to the government for catching these two criminals and preventing further loss of tax payer dollars. Judging by the sentences handed down, the government has added their stamp of disapproval.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Two Syracuse Men Sentenced for $1.7 Million in Food Stamp Fraud,” written by Dave Tobin and posted on Syracuse.com on April 3, 2015.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Two men who immigrated from Gambia were sentenced today in federal court for conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud.

Ebrima Krubally 46, of Syracuse, was sentenced to 48 months in prison and Alieu Jaiteh, 32, of Syracuse, was sentenced to 18 months, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The two had previously pleaded guilty to the federal charges.

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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.