Buffalo man pleads guilty to food stamp fraud

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 09:41 hrs

Buffalo, New York, Nov 22 (IBNS) U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced on Wednesday that Riyadh Almadrahi, 34, of Buffalo, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to food stamp fraud.

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 in Buffalo.

The defendant and others exchanged customer's food stamp benefits for cash in violation of the rules governing the food stamp program. In less than a two-year period, Almadrahi acquired approximately $143,700 through these fraudulent transactions.

The indictment 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 March 27, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

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