On Tuesday, it was announced that a Catonsville, Maryland man had been convicted by a federal jury on charges of wire fraud in relation to a scheme to illegally redeem food stamp benefits in exchange for cash. 58-year-old Mahmood Hussain Shah was found guilty. He and his co-defendant, 33-year-old Muhammad Rafiq of Reisterstown, Maryland, operated Corner Groceries on Darley Avenue in Baltimore.
From October 2010 through August 2016, the defendant and co-defendant obtained more than $1,610,556 in payments for food sales that never occurred. Shah exchanged EBT benefits for cash and typically paid the SNAP recipient half of the value of the EBT benefits. He kept the other half for himself. To avoid being detected, the defendant often debited the funds from the card in multiple transactions over a period of hours or days.
Shah is now scheduled to be sentenced on May 29, 2018. The defendant will face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison at the time of sentencing. Additional details have been made available here.