WBAL was the first place I saw this story. They reported:
A federal grand jury indicted nine retail store owners in Baltimore City and Baltimore County for ‘food stamp trafficking.’Court papers said the retailers redeemed the food stamps for cash and split the money with food stamp recipients. The amounts totaled about $7 million. According to investigators, the retailers did not provide any food.
The US Attorney’s office provides more details including information on the suspect who owns Second Obama Express:
The indictments allege that the defendants exchanged EBT benefits for cash, in violation of the food stamp program rules. The indictments allege that the defendants typically paid half the value of the EBT benefits in cash. To avoid detection, the defendants often debited the funds from the card in multiple transactions over a period of hours or days. As a result of unlawful cash transactions, the defendants obtained more than $6,898,000 in EBT deposits for transactions in which the stores did not provide food.[...]Abdullah Aljaradi, age 51, of Baltimore;
Second Obama Express and D&M Deli and Grocery, 901 Harlem Avenue, Suite A and B, respectively. From October 2010 through July 2013, Aljaradi allegedly obtained more than $2 million in payments for food sales that never occurred.
The suspects are all facing up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. A search of Maryland state records indicates nothing but traffic violations on Aljaradi’s state record.
There is another Obama Express store in Baltimore and there are others across the country if you do a Google search.
Jeff Quinton is a native South Carolinian who now lives in the Baltimore area. He has been aggregating and blogging since 1998. His work experience includes radio news reporting, web design for government agencies at the state and federal level, and working in social media and communications for a DC public policy organization. Quinton is a military veteran of the Army National Guard and an Eagle Scout.
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