A massive food-stamp fraud scheme has been busted…finally! The seven people who have been indicted were at it since 2011. This isn’t small scale fraud! They allegedly defrauded millions from the SNAP program…$8.5 million!
The indictment handed down in U.S. District Court names the owner of Ohio Direct Distributors. Kaitlin Kohler ran the food stamp fraud scheme with six others for years. This begs the question…Why is food stamp fraud STILL so rampant?
Food stamp fraud is still fairly rampant at corner stores operated in low income neighborhoods. The temptation for fraud increases because it’s easy to launder money via the SNAP benefits. Approximately $975 million is lost every year due to food stamp fraud. It’s way past time to crack down on the abuse of what has become a theft of YOUR money!
Trading SNAP benefits for cash enables the drug trade and continued addiction:
We’ve previously reported on how the SNAP program attracts immigrants who send the stolen money back to their home country:
IMMIGRANT Ghanaian Woman Pleads Guilty To $3.6 Million in Food Stamp Fraud…Media Ignores Her Immigrant Status
1. Ohio Convenience Store Owner Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison for $2.8 Million in Food Stamp Fraud
A former Ohio convenience store owner got caught carrying out a $2.8 million food stamp fraud scheme where George Rafidi allowed benefit recipients to exchange their food stamps for cash.
2. Florida Investigators Discover More than $20 Million in Food Stamp Fraud
3. Baltimore Man Sentenced to Four Years for $3.7 Million Food Stamp Fraud
A Baltimore store owner got slapped with a four-year prison sentence for carrying out $3.7 million worth of food stamp fraud.
Mohammad Shafiq, 51, was one of 14 other Baltimore-area retailers sentenced for $16 million worth of food stamp fraud, where they exchanged SNAP benefits for cash.
The judge ordered Shafiq to pay back that $3.7 million to the federal government and serve three years of supervised release following the end of his sentence.
4. Three Wisconsin Men Who Carried Out $1.2 Million Food Stamp Fraud Sentenced to Hard Time
A judge sentenced three Milwaukee, Wisconsin, convenience store owners—Kanwar Gill, 67, Raviinder Gill, 27, and George Nance, 59—to prison terms ranging from 15-20 months in October after the three had been found guilty of exchanging cash for SNAP benefits.
5. Iraqi Immigrant Pleads Guilty to $1.4 Million Food Stamp Fraud
An Iraqi immigrant pleaded guilty to $1.4 million in food stamp fraud in November for conspiring with others to defraud the U.S. government.
It’s big business for the immigrant community!
TARGETING LARGE FAMILIES:
News 5 Cleveland reports:
Authorities said Kaitlin Kohler and six of her employees illegally used the SNAP program and that they “targeted large families in hopes of maximizing potential sales.” Authorities also said the accused exchanged SNAP EBT benefits for cash and prepaid gift cards using “overt and covert intimidation tactics with SNAP recipients” to keep their illegal operations going.
The indictment states the overall transactions made by Ohio Direct Distributors totaled more than $9 million, and of that, nearly $8.5 million dollars was fraudulent.
It also states the illegal activities included post-dated transactions and unlawfully acquiring, possessing and using snap EBT access devices.
Authorities said taxpayers were ripped off from 2011 to 2017.
The indictment lays out 10 different times when undercover agents said they posed as SNAP recipients and made transactions anywhere from $125 to $400.
Others named in the indictment are Aaron Luke, Andrew Hess, William Lambert, Joseph Hendricks, Kyle Nicholson and James Leeson.