Freeloader Hit With Instant Karma - He Isn't Laughing Anymore

A grocer pleaded guilty to using the food stamp program to defraud the government back in March. He was just sentenced to 3 years and 10 months’ jail time, and must pay $5.2 million back to the government.

Hasan F. Ahmed was caught misusing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in his store when his average monthly benefit redemptions soared to more than that of five other local stores combined. The 50-year-old owner and operator of Associated Discount Foods in Bessemer, Alabama, began taking SNAP (food stamp) benefits for non-eligible items, such as alcohol and paper goods. He would let people use benefit cards that were not in their name. Ahmed was aware at the time that these practices were illegal.

Ahmed also offered SNAP recipients cash exchanges. "For example, Ahmed would accept $65 in SNAP benefits in exchange for $50 in cash. He would retain the additional $15 as profit," read his plea deal.

Ahmed was charged with defrauding the food stamp program, structuring cash transactions and laundering money to hide the illegal profit, and evading federal income taxes. He claims he began misusing SNAP benefits to help others.

"Although his initial actions were intended to help the community following the April 2011 tornado, in the long run he ended up taking from the very people he was trying to support," wrote Ahmed's attorney Michael Hanle. "For that Mr. Ahmed is truly sorry. He looks forward to the day when he can once again serve the Bessemer community in a positive way."

Estimates for Ahmed's illegal profits amount to over $5.2 million, the amount he's been ordered to pay back.

Source: AL.com
Photo: Joe for America, YouTube

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