Unredeeming Qualities

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13488926 - a shot of market cart and supermarket view

Redeeming qualities are those that tend to balance out other personal characteristics that are not so great. For instance, your spouse’s lack of timeliness causes you to be late for just about every function you attend together; however, their ability to work a crowd makes you both the life of the party and no one remembers how tardy you were in the first place. On the other hand, fraudsters tend to have a lot of unredeeming qualities. An article posted on WTNH.com tells about a brother and sister pair whose not so endearing criminal characteristics led them to illegally redeem food stamp benefits for ineligible items and cash.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) makes it pretty clear as to what items can and cannot be purchased with food stamp benefits. For instance, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, paper goods and soap cannot be purchased. Also, the benefits cannot be lawfully exchanged for cash.

The article states that a woman, who operated a grocery store in Connecticut, engaged in food stamp fraud along with her brother. (As you might guess, these two violated the rules and regulations of the food stamp program by exchanging ineligible items and cash for program benefits.) The pair was able to redeem $285,000 in SNAP benefits over a nine-month period of time.

The 54-year-old woman pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced. She is facing a maximum of five years in prison, a fine and restitution. The brother has also pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud.

It looks like these two will be prevented from illegally redeeming any more SNAP benefits in the near future. Depending on the punishment received, these siblings might have a bit of time on their hands during which they can working on improving their less redeeming qualities.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Grocery Store Operator Pleads Guilty to Food Stamp Fraud,” posted on WTNH.com on January 8, 2015.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — A 54-year-old woman from Fairfield plead guilty today in Hartford federal court for the illegal use of food stamp benefits.

According to a United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Jamila Aboutayeb, a grocery store operator for M&J Deli Market in Bridgeport, was charged by a grand jury in New Haven in May, 2014 along with her brother, Khalid Aboutayeb, with engaging in food stamp fraud.

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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.