News

Actions

18 stores shut down for allegedly exchanging cash for food stamps

CORP-Digital-Default-Image-1280x720-WMAR.png
Posted at 2:28 PM, Aug 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-31 15:37:56-04

Eighteen stores have been shut down for allegedly exchanging cash for food stamps, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Tuesday

The food stamp fraud scheme involved 14 store owners. 

Officials said retailers received $16,482,270 in federal payments for food stamp trafficking.

According to a federal grand jury indictment, stores allegedly split the proceeds with food stamp recipients. 

Food stamps are a taxpayer-funded program.

The investigation started a year ago. All 14 store owners were arrested Tuesday morning. 

More than 300 members of law enforcement participated in the arrests and execution of a total of 26 search warrants at the stores and related locations this morning.  In addition, 46 bank accounts were seized.

"The goal is to put food on the table, not to put money in the pockets of greedy criminals," said U.S. Attorney for Maryland, Rod Rosenstein.

The indictments allege the defendants typically paid half the value of the benefits in cash, often debiting the funds from the card in multiple transactions over a period of hours or days, or called a different store where the transaction was processed manually.

Those arrested include:

  • Walayat Khan, 36, of Reisterstown and Barbara Ann Duke, 50, of Owings Mills
    • Maria’s Market Place, 307 S. Broadway in Baltimore
    • Royals Food Market, 921 E. Patapsco Avenue in Brooklyn
      • From October 2013 to June 2016, Khan and Duke allegedly obtained more than $1,486,118 in payments for food sales that never occurred.
  • Shaheen Tasewar Hussain, 60, of Ellicott City
    • Shop & Save, 301 Crain Highway South, Suite D, Glen Burnie
      • From July 2014 through October 2015, Hussain allegedly obtained more than $778,183 in payments for food sales that never occurred.
  • Kelym Novas Perez, 34, of Baltimore; and Jose Remedio Gonzalez Reyes, 50, of Baltimore
    • Kelym Grocery, 2734 Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore
      • From August 2013 through March 2016, Perez and her husband, Gonzalez Reyes, allegedly obtained more than $879,500 in payments for food sales that never occurred.
  • Mulazam Hussain, 54, of Windsor Mill
    • Monroe Food Mart in Baltimore
    • Y&J Grocery in Baltimore
      • From March 2013 through July 2016 Hussain allegedly obtained more than $1,242,745 in payments for food sales that never occurred.
  • Mohammad Shafiq, 50, of Gwynn Oak and his daughter, Alia Shaheen, 24, of Baltimore
    • Quick Stop Convenience Store, 237 N. Patterson Park Avenue
    • New York Food Mart, 1201 N. Patterson Park Avenue
    • Barclay Food Mart, 2454 Barclay St.
    • Shafiq Corporation, 6929 Holabird Avenue, in Dundalk.
      • From about October 2010 through July 2016, Mohammad Shafiq and his daughter, Alia Shaheen, allegedly obtained more than $3,712,353 in payments for food sales that never occurred or were substantially inflated.
  • Mohammad Irfan, 59; and Muhammad Sarmad, 40, both of Nottingham
    • New Sherwood Market, 6324 Sherwood Road in Northwood
    • Martin Mart, 1504 Martin Boulevard in Middle River
    • Rosedale Mart, 6326 Kenwood Ave. in Rosedale
    • M&A Mart 7400-A Belair Road in Baltimore
      • From October 2010 through August 2016, Irfan and Sarmad allegedly obtained more than $3,550,662 in payments for food sales that never occurred. 
  • Mahmood Hussain Shah, 57, of Catonsville; and Muhammad Rafiq, 58, of Reisterstown
    • Corner Groceries, 1242 Darley Avenue in Baltimore
      • From October 2010 through August 2016, Shah and Rafiq allegedly obtained more than $1,610,556 in payments for food sales that never occurred.
  • Rizwan Pervez, 38, of Essex
    • M&N Mini Mart, 1846 W. North Avenue
    • Mega Mart1, 1522 Ellamont St.
      • From April 2014 through July 2016, Pervez, allegedly obtained more than $1,689,511 in payments for food sales that never occurred.
  • Kassem Mohammad Hafeed, a/k/a Kassam Mohammad Hafeed, 51, Baltimore
    • Yemen Grocery, 1400 W. Lombard Street in Baltimore.  From October 28, 2010 through August 3, 2016, Hafeed allegedly obtained more than $1,532,642 in payments for food sales that never occurred.

Download the ABC2 News app for the iPhone, Kindle and Android.