This is the kind of crackdown I like to see.....those who participate in abusing the system. http://www.freep.com/article/20110922/NEWS01/109220440/1001/news
The federal government is cracking down on food stamp fraud in metro Detroit, arresting nearly a dozen store owners in a recent sweep.
The suspects, authorities say, redeemed food stamps for everything from booze and clothing to appliances and furniture. Cash also was a hot trade-off.
In one case, for example, a store owner offered a 50% exchange range for food stamps: If a customer wanted $25 cash, the owner would charge $50 in food stamp benefits, court records indicate.
"Taxpayers in Michigan fund the food stamp program to provide food for the needy, not to create a commodity to be traded for profit," U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said Wednesday in announcing the arrests.
According to McQuade, the sweep targeted the following businesses:
• Dollar City in Detroit. Owner Yousef Haddad of Canton was arrested on food stamp charges.
• Dollar & Party in Detroit. Owner Khalil Haddad of Canton was arrested and charged with food stamp fraud.
• Dollar Palace in Inkster. Owner Tony Gumma of Sterling Heights was arrested on wire fraud charges.
• H&J Fish Market in Detroit. Owner Jihad Sayed of Dearborn was arrested on wire fraud charges.
• Caesar Food Center in Detroit. Arrested and charged with food stamp fraud were store owner Ayad Yatooma of Shelby Township and Adnan Kejbou of Troy.
• King Cole Foods in Detroit. Owners Ghazi Manni of Sterling Heights and Adil Manni of West Bloomfield were arrested on food stamp fraud charges.
• Country Farm Market in Pontiac. Owners Kushaba and Philips Hermiz of Rochester were arrested and charged.
• 30th Street Market in Detroit. Owner Ursula Grigsby of Detroit was arrested on wire fraud charges.
The arrests were part of an ongoing effort by U.S. and state law enforcement, which launched a project to weed out food stamp traffickers in 2007.