Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty to Food Stamp Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 14, 2012|
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Karem Almadrahi, 35, of Buffalo, New York, pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert C. Moscati, who is handling the case, stated that Almadrahi participated in the operation of a deli known as Zip’s Food and Beverage at 896 Niagara Street. The defendant and others exchanged customers’ food stamp benefits for cash in violation of the known rules governing the food stamp program. In less than a two-year period, Almadrahi acquired approximately $67,301 through these fraudulent transactions. Almadrahi will pay full restitution to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of special agents of the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General; special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero; and the New York State Police, Special Investigations Unit, under the direction of Lieutenant Joseph Scioli.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 17, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.