New Jersey: Muslim Couple Charged in $4 Million Food Stamp Fraud at Paterson Store

Source: Passaic County, New Jersey Couple Charged in Food Stamps Scheme | USAO-NJ | Department of Justice

NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic County, New Jersey, couple was charged today for their respective roles in a food stamps fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Ibrahim Zughbi, 64, and his wife, Miriam Zughbi, 59, of Wayne, New Jersey, are charged by complaint with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Ibrahim Zughbi is also charged with money laundering. Both appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hammer in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From January 2014 to the present, the defendants managed Jamaica Meat Market, a medium-size grocery store in Paterson, New Jersey, that was authorized to accept benefits provided by SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retail food stores approved for participation in SNAP may sell food in exchange for SNAP benefits. They may not exchange SNAP benefits for cash. While the Zughbis ran the store, another individual owns the store and is the person registered with SNAP. According to the complaint, Ibrahim and Miriam Zughbi exchanged more than $4 million in SNAP benefits for cash between 2014 and 2017.

Every SNAP recipient receives an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, similar to a debit card, with which to make purchases. Every retailer authorized to accept SNAP benefits has an EBT terminal. Food purchases are made by swiping the card at the terminal. After the customer enters a Personal Identification Number (PIN), the EBT terminal verifies the PIN, determines whether the customer’s account balance is sufficient to cover the proposed transaction and informs the retailer whether the transaction should be authorized or denied. The amount of the purchase is deducted electronically from the SNAP benefits reserved for the customer and the amount is credited to the retailer’s designated bank account. In addition to the high volume of SNAP benefits redemptions for Jamaica Meat Market indicating fraud, law enforcement agents verified the fraudulent exchange of SNAP benefits for cash through the use of a confidential source who, at the direction of law enforcement, engaged in 16 “purchases” at Jamaica Meat Market where one or both defendants exchanged money for SNAP benefits.

Ibrahim Zughbi had previously participated in SNAP when he was the owner of Neighborhood Supermarket, a grocery store that operated out of the same location as the Jamaica Meat Market. In March 2011, the USDA had permanently disqualified Ibrahim Zughbi from SNAP when Zughbi and the Neighborhood Supermarket were administratively charged with SNAP violations. Another individual took over the business, changed its name to Jamaica Meat Market, and certified in writing to the USDA that Ibrahim Zughbi would have nothing to do with the business or its participation in the program. Zughbi continued to run Jamaica Meat Market, and continued to exchange cash for SNAP benefits.

The complaint also charges Ibrahim Zughbi with money laundering. The bank account of Jamaica Meat Market, where the store receives SNAP payments, shows payments in excess of $471,000 to Ibrahim Zughbi and various family members not connected to the business, even though Ibrahim Zughbi is not permitted to associate with Jamaica Meat Market as a participant in SNAP.

Each of the counts with which the defendants are charged carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross pecuniary gain/loss. The count of money laundering with which Ibrahim Zughbi is charged carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction.

Paterson is a Hamas stronghold in the U.S.

8 thoughts on “New Jersey: Muslim Couple Charged in $4 Million Food Stamp Fraud at Paterson Store

  1. No surprise here, it’s happening all over the country! It’s happened in Maine multiple times, actually it’s happened in the Portland area more than once, and the government gave one a pass because they decided that they had to have a muslim store in that area! It’s time to make them adhere to the laws or get out! This isn’t a rarity it’s an ongoing mass plan to circumvent the laws of the country and steal! They are systematically working to destroy our economy one area at a time and overwhelm our economic system, it’s no secret, they have openly said so many times! But, our government for some reason protects them and ignores the real citizens! Either obey the laws or get out!!

    • Why can’t the US deport non-citizens who break our laws? How many billions of dollars are being stolen by these foreign invaders?

    • Not just in Portland, but also in the halal shops in Lewiston where they’ve laundered millions of welfare benefits which ended up in the hands of overseas terrorists.

      The Leftists pee in their collective panties when they claim the downtown area was revitalized. But, they never mention that these “businesses” were subsidized by the taxpayers.

  2. Charge these people accordingly, imprison, the deport. Attach all assets and make them pay back all funds, monies and benefits paid for by US taxpayers. When is America going to wake up? These people know how to scam the system.

  3. One of untold thousands of frauds that are sucking America dry. We bring in these third world scum with the goodness of our hearts to help them and they come to rob us as they are on the drugs of islam and are told the world owes them a “JIZYA”.
    Build the fence, its not a barrier it will be a filter!
    The American-American

    • Twice really!! They should have gone to jail the first time! Now we ( tax payers ) have to pay for their new home ( jail ). Lock them up!

  4. I was in an Acme where I saw two Muslim women buying over 20 gallons of milk. Seemed rather odd, especially when they paid, and a list of some sort needed confirmation by the cashier. I suspect they couldn’t use all this milk. I asked the clerk what was that all about. She explained that beyond snap there’s a milk program. If I had time I would have followed them. Probably to their husbands convenience store to resell the free milk. We are fools… and half this country wants to import more poverty and dysfunction. These people have lots of children they can’t afford and we support this growth in their population. Goodbye America!

If sharia keeps spreading, you will not only be silenced by the media and big technology, you will be jailed - or worse. Speak while you can!

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