Most taxpayers work hard for what they earn. The last thing they deserve or expect is to have their taxes stolen – especially from a program many feel is theft anyway.
But that’s another story.
However, when someone steals from the program itself citizens feel doubly attacked.
Case in Point
A group of Muslims used their store to defraud the food stamp program. Their manipulation of this program that helps those in need, cost the American taxpayer of over $16 million dollars. This crime included wire fraud as well.
Muhammed Sarmid, along with family members and friends, made the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a personal bank. Their actions took Maryland by surprise.
These “fine folks” own various markets in the State of Maryland. Most of the stores were authorized to accept SNAP. Sarmid and associates accepted debit card that is SNAP and messed with EBT benefits. They would pay the food stamp recipient half the EBT benefit value in cash.
This made room for the group to take the benefit and exchange it in small bundle deposits. To escape scrutiny, they maintained the portioned-out profile in their deposits.
Caught and Punished
It wasn’t long before authorities caught onto their scheme and were brought to trial. Judge Richard Bennett was not happy by this case. His decision eased the pain felt by taxpayers.
Hoping the judge would show them some latitude and mercy, Sarmid’s group pled guilty.
Instead Bennett exacted due justice. Sarmid wound up with a 5-year sentence and must pay back over $3 million personally. Others in the group were convicted with varying degrees.
U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Muhammad Sarmad, age 41, of Nottingham, Maryland, to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to illegally redeem food stamp benefits in exchange for cash. At the sentencing on March 27, 2017, Judge Bennett also ordered that Sarmad pay restitution of $3,550,662.
Americans deserve better with the taxes they pay and what the court system did was perfect. Aid to those that need it is one thing. Profiting off their situation is another.
What do you think about the case? Leave your comments below.
Source: Breaking 911