Alameda family convicted of food stamp fraud through Oakland convenience store
OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal jury on Wednesday convicted an Alameda family of food stamp fraud, United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds announced Thursday.
Mugalli Ahmed Hassan, 50, and Ali Mugalli Hassan, 32, father and son, allegedly used the government food stamp program to conduct fraudulent transactions.
Hassan owned and operated a convenience store on International Boulevard in Oakland, and members of his family served as cashiers at the store.
The store was an authorized vendor for the USDA's Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), and conducted a high volume of transactions, including redeeming more than $2.3 million in benefits between 2014 and 2017, prosecutors said.
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Evidence presented at the trial showed the defendants charged purchases to customers' electric benefits transaction cards when the customers received few or no eligible products.
Prosecutors said the defendants kept half the value of the fraudulent transactions and returned the remainder in cash to the customers.
As part the of the scheme, the defendants kept the cards and used the federal benefits assigned to those cards at other stores to purchase items to sell at their convenience store.
Prior to the trial, Mugalli Ahmed Hassan pleaded guilty to nine counts of wire fraud.
Both men are scheduled for sentencing on December 8.
Another family member, identified as Ahmed Ahmed Hasan Dharahan, 41, of Oakland, is a co-defendant in the case, and his case is still pending.