A Muslim who made over $16 million off of the American taxpayers through fraud was sentenced to a measly 18 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release.
Muhammad Sarmad used a chain of stores to commit fraud and steal food stamps.
U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett decided to only hand Sarmad an 18 month sentence for conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and wire fraud in connection with his scheme to illegally redeem food stamp benefits.
100 Percent Fed Up reports:
Sarmad, co-defendant Mohammad Irfan, and other family members owned and/or operated New Sherwood Market, 6324 Sherwood Road in Northwood, Maryland; Martin Mart, 1504 Martin Boulevard in Middle River, Maryland; Rosedale Mart, 6326 Kenwood Avenue in Rosedale, Maryland; and M&A Mart 7400-A Belair Road in Baltimore.
All of the stores were authorized to accept SNAP, except the M&A Mart. According to their plea agreements, from October 2010 through at least July 2016, Sarmad, Irfan, and their co-conspirators exchanged EBT benefits for cash, in violation of the food stamp program rules. Sarmad, Irfan, and their co-conspirators typically paid half the value of the EBT benefits in cash. To avoid detection, they often debited 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. Since the M&A Mart was not authorized to accept SNAP, Sarmad or a co-conspirator would call one of the other stores to run the transaction at the other store and then hand out the cash at M&A Mart.
Sarmad made his customers redeem their food stamp benefits on specific items . He also manipulated transactions in order to turn the food stamp payments into liquid assets like cash.
Here is a list of the other store operators who defrauded the American people:
Walayat Khan, 36, of Reisterstown; Barbara Ann Duke, 50, of Owings Mills: Maria’s Market Place, 307 S. Broadway in Baltimore; and Royals Food Market, 921 E. Patapsco Avenue in Brooklyn, Maryland. From Oct. 2013 to June 2016, Khan and Duke allegedly obtained more than $1,486,118 in payments for food sales that never happened.
Shaheen Tasewar Hussain, 60, of Ellicott City: Shop & Save, 301 Crain Highway South, Suite D, Glen Burnie, Maryland. From July 2014 through October 2015, Hussain allegedly obtained more than $778,183 in payments for food sales that never happened.
Kelym Novas Perez, 34, of Baltimore; and Jose Remedio Gonzalez Reyes, 50, of Baltimore: Kelym Grocery, 2734 Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore. From Aug. 2013 through March 2016, Perez and her husband, Gonzalez Reyes, allegedly obtained more than $879,500 in payments for food sales that never happened.
Mulazam Hussain, 54, of Windsor Mill: Monroe Food Mart and 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 happened.
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; and Barclay Food Mart, 2454 Barclay Street, all in Baltimore; and Shafiq Corporation at 6929 Holabird Avenue in Dundalk. From about Oct. 2010 through July 2016, Shafiq and Shaheen allegedly obtained more than $3,712,353 in payments for food sales that never happened or were substantially inflated.
Mohammad Irfan, 59; and Muhammad Sarmad, 40, both of Nottingham: New Sherwood Market, 6324 Sherwood Road in Northwood, Maryland; Martin Mart, 1504 Martin Boulevard in Middle River, Maryland; Rosedale Mart, 6326 Kenwood Avenue in Rosedale, Maryland; and M&A Mart 7400-A Belair Road in Baltimore. From Oct. 2010 through Aug. 2016, Irfan and Sarmad allegedly obtained more than $3,550,662 in payments for food sales that never happened.
Mahmood Hussain Shah, 57, of Catonsville, and Muhammad Rafiq, 58, of Reisterstown: Corner Groceries, 1242 Darley Avenue in Baltimore. From Oct. 2010 through Aug. 2016, Shah and Rafiq allegedly obtained more than $1,610,556 in payments for food sales that never happened.
Rizwan Pervez, 38, of Essex: M&N Mini Mart, 1846 W. North Avenue; and Mega Mart1, 1522 Ellamont Street, both in Baltimore. From April 2014 through July 2016, Pervez, allegedly obtained more than $1,689,511 in payments for food sales that never happened.
Kassem Mohammad Hafeed, a/k/a Kassam Mohammad Hafeed, 51, Baltimore: Yemen Grocery at 1400 W. Lombard Street in Baltimore. From Oct. 28, 2010 through Aug. 3, 2016, Hafeed allegedly obtained more than $1,532,642 in payments for food sales that never happened.
If convicted, some of the defendants face up to 20 years in prison.
Hopefully the justice system works in this case and the rest of these scammers are placed behind thick iron bars. It sickens me to see hardworking Americans ripped off by scam artists like these.