Rhode Island: Convenience Store Owner Admits to Million Dollar Food Stamp Fraud Scheme

Source: Convenience Store Owner Admits to Million Dollar Food Stamp Fraud Scheme | USAO-RI | Department of Justice

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Sami Almuhtaseb, 45, of Smithfield, R.I., owner of Oasis Market, a convenience store located in Providence, pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday to defrauding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) of more than $1.1 million dollars. Almuhtaseb admitted to the court that he allowed SNAP recipients to exchange food stamp benefits for cash, in return charging them a surcharge of 100% which he pocketed.

According to information presented to the court, between November 2009 and December 2015, the defendant’s store redeemed $2,755,125 in SNAP benefits. Over $1,259,320.99 or 45% of the food stamp transactions were for transactions of $100 or more. Over 72% of the SNAP transactions at the store were from transactions in excess of $50. Legitimate SNAP transactions at a convenience store rarely involve a transaction of $50 or more.

According to court documents, at least $1.1 million dollars worth of the SNAP funds received by Almuhtaseb were the result of fraudulent transactions. These fraudulently obtained funds were deposited into two bank accounts controlled by Almuhtaseb. The defendant withdrew over $770,000 in cash or checks payable to himself from these two accounts. An analysis of bank records revealed that the Almuhtaseb also withdrew over $40,000 of cash from one of the accounts at ATMs located at casinos.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, Sami Almuhtaseb pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program fraud and to money laundering.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 22, 2016.


Click the Fraud category below to see the billions of dollars of your taxes being picked out of taxpayers pockets (after the government picked them first).

Boston: ISIS suspects ‘tried to organize beheadings of non-believers from jail’

Source: ISIS suspect Nicholas Rovinski ‘tried to organize beheadings of non-believers from jail’ | Daily Mail Online   h/t thereligionofpeace.com

A New England ISIS suspect tried to organise the beheadings of ‘non-believers’ from inside jail while awaiting trial on terror charges, prosecutors claim.

Nicholas Rovinski of Warwick, Rhode Island and his co-accused David Wright of Everett, Massachusetts were arrested and charged in June 2015 with providing material support to ISIS.

However, following a hearing at US District Court in Boston on Thursday, the pair were also charged with plotting to kill conservative blogger Pamela Geller.

Prosecutors allege Rovinski and Wright received instructions from a foreign-based ISIS recruiter.

Rovinski and Wright both pleaded not guilty to the terrorism charges.

The court heard the pair allegedly plotted with Wright’s uncle Usaamah Rahim to behead blogger Pamela Geller, who is known for provoking Muslims. The plot was not carried out.

Thursday’s indictment says ISIS recruiter and hacker Junaid Hussain communicated instructions about the plot directly to Rahim from overseas in May 2015. It says Rahim then told his nephew.

Hussain was killed in a US drone strike in Syria in August. The US military has said Hussain had been recruiting sympathizers in the West to carry out lone-wolf terrorist attacks.

Rahim was killed June 2 by investigators who say he lunged at them with a knife when they approached him in Boston.

According to the indictment, even from jail, Rovinski has tried to recruit people to help carry out plans for violent attacks in the United States, including to decapitate non-believers.

Geller last year organized a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest that ended in gunfire in Garland, Texas, with two Muslim gunmen shot to death by police. She has spearheaded scores of events across the nation to decry Islamic extremism.

According to the new indictment, Rovinski has continued to support Islamic State while in jail by trying to recruit others to ‘decapitate non-believers’ and take down the U.S. government and by writing a new pledge of support to the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, on the back of his own criminal complaint.

Rovinski and Wright pleaded not guilty to the original charge of conspiring to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization after they were arrested in June, and they were due to face trial in February 2017.

According to the new indictment, Rovinski and Wright plotted their attacks with Wright’s uncle, Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, who was shot dead by law enforcement officers last June when Boston police and agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation approached him and he threatened them with a knife.

The indictment accused Rahim of beginning communication one month before he was shot with a British member of Islamic State, Junaid Hussain. Hussain was believed by government sources to be the leader of CyberCaliphate, a hacking group that last year attacked a Twitter account belonging to the Pentagon.

The indictment said Hussain gave Rahim instructions that Rahim passed on to Wright about targeting individuals such as Pamela Geller, organizer of a ‘Draw Mohammad’ cartoon competition in Garland, Texas, that was attacked by two gunmen last May.

Hussain was killed in a US drone strike in Syria last August.

Wright has pleaded not guilty to charges he alone faced of obstructing justice and conspiring to obstruct justice after he was accused of instructing Rahim to delete his phone and laptop data.

Wright and Rovinski now face maximum sentences of life in prison as a result of the new charges announced on Thursday. They are scheduled to be arraigned on April 28, according to the docket report in their case.

Rhode Island: Four Muslim “students” charged with drugging, sexually assaulting women

Immigration and diversity alert: Four Johnson & Wales students charged in sexual assault – News – providencejournal.com – Providence, RI  h/t Boudica2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Four male Johnson & Wales University students have been arrested in connection with a reported sexual assault and alleged drugging of two female students at the university.

The police have charged Mohammed Alsaqer, a 20-year-old sophomore, and Yazeed Alasiri, a 23-year-old senior, both from Saudi Arabia, with assaulting the women at the young men’s residence in Pawtucket after meeting the women at a nightclub in Providence on Thursday night.

Late Tuesday night, Pawtucket police charged two more Johnson & Wales students — Mohammed Aljohani, 20, and Tareq Alharbi, 22 — with first-degree sexual assault.


Saudi student visas has more than doubled since 2010 alone thanks to Obama, as has Muslim immigration and importation.

A few more examples:

Virginia: Saudi exchange student arrested in sexual assault of autistic girl

Saudi student arrested in bomb threat at Rhode Island university

Rhode Island: Muslim wants $32K in student loan interest wiped out because sharia forbids

Not sourced from The Onion. via Muslim Student Loan Interest Discount | The Daily Caller. h/t TROP

Steve Rhode, the Get Out of Debt Guy, has advised a Muslim man seeking financial advice not to try to use Islam as a crutch to get out of paying half of what is now a $64,000 student loan debt.

“Dear Steve,” the Seattle, Wash. man going by the name Amir wrote to Rhode in a missive published this week, “I had two citi-student loans and at some point in time within the last 5 years they went to Navient.”

Amir explained that he had unsuccessfully asked the loan servicing company to lower his payoff amount to $32,000, even though the actual amount he owes is $64,000 “because of deferment and interest.”

The dismayed student loan borrower also noted that he “was born into Islam” but only took a serious interest in the religion in 2012. One thing he has learned since then, he said, is that “dealings with interest” are “strictly forbidden” under Islam.

“I am offering to pay off the original amount I owe,” Amir graciously offered. As for the rest, he wants his creditors to acknowledge that his “awareness and conditions have changed” since he accepted the loan.

“Can I get the interest wiped out and close this account and case with just paying the original amount borrowed?” Amir asked.

Rhode then responded by having exactly none of Amir’s plea for a religion-based student loan discount.

“Asking any lender to adjust their terms and conditions after the fact for religious reasons is just not going to happen,” the Get Out of Debt Guy bluntly declared.

Rhode told Amir that the lesson to take from the situation is that “the damage caused by deferment is enormous” because accruing interest “just puts the debt in turbo.”

He also noted that Navient (formerly Sallie Mae) will settle loans but achieving a settlement typically requires either intercession by a debt expert or grave delinquency.

Noting that he has previously written about Islam and debt, Rhode also suggested that Amir’s mosque might be able to provide funding for his loans from Zakat, “obligatory charity for Muslim followers.”

Rhode also explained that an imam advised him that Muslims who choose to borrow with interest “are obligated to repay their entire debt and if they don’t they will prohibited from entering paradise when they die.”


A few threats of jihad or calls from terrorist CAIR and who knows what could happen.

 

Rhode Island: Muslim accountant pleads guilty in $1.2M cigarette smuggling ring

via Accountant admits cigarette tax conspiracy | The Providence Journal.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. –- A Pawtucket accountant has pleaded guilty of conspiring to bring $1.2 million worth of contraband cigarettes to Rhode Island from Virginia, where the cigarette tax is low.

Bassam Kiriaki, 46, also admitted conspiring to defraud the food stamp program, it was announced Wednesday by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha. Kiriaki issued the pleas Monday in U.S. District Court.

In addition, at the time of his guilty plea, Kiriaki admitted to the court that he participated in a conspiracy and that he filed fraudulent documents with the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service so that a convenience store owned by a co-conspirator could maintain participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as an approved vendor, even though the store had been previously disqualified. The documents intentionally misrepresented the true owners of the business.

Bassam is to be sentenced on June 6. Each charge is punishable by up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The FBI press release of the indictment notes he wasn’t alone:

The indictment charges Wissam Khalil, 40, of Central Falls, a Providence convenience store owner; his brothers Bassam Khalil, 48, and Najd Khalil, 25, of Pawtucket; Abdullah Alnahas, 36, of Cranston, a Providence convenience store owner; Bassam Kiriaki, 45, a Pawtucket accountant; and Richard Larrain, 23, of Providence, an enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army Reserves, with allegedly participating in a conspiracy to possess, transport, and distribute contraband cigarettes in Rhode Island.

A seventh defendant, Valeria Mendez (Khalil), 30, of Central Falls, wife of Wissam Khalil, is charged with conspiring to make and making false statements to a government official.

How far removed are these types of arrests in the U.S. from Tunisia’s Informal Street Vendor Economy Said To Be Source Of Terrorist Funding

The cigarette peddler stands on a downtown street corner, walled in by a small fortress of stacked cigarette cartons. The cigarettes, he says, come from Algeria. “They’re smuggled,” he adds, matter-of-factly.

There is a confirmed relationship between smuggling and terrorism,” observed Mokhtar Ben Nasser, a retired colonel and former spokesperson for the Tunisian military.

Militants and smugglers work together, Ben Nasser said. Militants offer the smugglers protection, sometimes in the form of extortion, in addition to demand for their supplies. Smugglers provide food, equipment, untraceable cash and knowledge of unguarded routes in the country’s interior and across borders.

Militants and smugglers have shared interests,” Ben Nasser said.

While jihadist violence may be a relatively recent phenomenon in Tunisia, funding radical Islamist campaigns through smuggling is not. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has been known to smuggle vehicles, arms and people for money. Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a former AQIM leader who went on to found his own spinoff group and attack the In Amenas oil facility in Algeria last year, was famous enough for his cigarette smuggling to earn the nickname Mr. Marlboro.

Such cigarettes and other wares make their way onto the streets of Tunis in larger numbers now partially because the lower prices appeal to down-and-out consumers.

Cigarette smuggling is absolutely huge in the U.S. as well. Consider that 56.9 percent of all cigarettes sold in New York were illegally imported from out of state sources.

And who’s doing the smuggling?

To put all the pieces together, read this previous post:  How Cigarette Smuggling Finances Jihad and Insurgency Worldwide.

 

Rhode Island: 3 more Muslims plead guilty in $3 million food-stamp fraud

via Last 3 of 11 retailers charged in food-stamp fraud plead guilty | providencejournal.com

PROVIDENCE — The last 3 of 11 convenience store retailers charged in a federal food-stamp scam pleaded guilty Friday and now face possible prison time, federal officials say.

Asra Qadir and Waqif Qadir, owners of Express Food Mart, in Warwick, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the food-stamp program, as did Amir Rasheed, owner of Step & Go convenience store, in Providence. All three are scheduled to be sentenced in May.

The arrest of all 11 suspects resulted from a two-year federal investigation into food-stamp fraud, first announced in September. Officials said the fraud resulted in the theft of more than $3 million from the program designed to provide food to many of the state’s neediest residents.

The merchants allegedly allowed food-stamp recipients to trade their benefits for cash. In exchange, the merchants are accused of adding a substantial surcharge for the illegal service, frequently as much as the cash that was dispensed. Under federal law, food stamps are not allowed to be used to get cash, tobacco products or other goods with no nutritional benefits.

All 11 convenience store retailers have now pleaded guilty, officials say, and some sentencing has begun.

In December, federal U.S. District Judge Mary M. Lisa sentenced Cristina Ramirez, owner of Cristina’s Market , in Providence, to 12 months in prison and ordered her to pay $399,000 in restitution to the food-stamp program.

That same month, Lisi also sentenced Glenda Lopez, owner of the Dugout convenience store, in Providence, to 18 months in federal prison and ordered her to pay $398,000 in restitution to the food-stamp program.

Six other suspects are awaiting sentencing. Officials identified them as:

Mashhod Afzal, an employee at Stop & Go, in Providence, and the store’s manager, Karuna Mehta.

Mohamad Barbour, manager of Corner Store, in Providence, and that store’s owner, Mustafa Al Kabouni.

Mohammad Amir Al Kabouni and Muhammad Eid Al Kabouni, employees of the Regency Mart convenience store, in Providence.

Previous arrests here.

Rhode Island: Three Mohamads arrested in $3 million food-stamp fraud bust

via 9 Providence merchants accused of stealing $3 million in food-stamp fraud | The Providence Journal.

PROVIDENCE — A two-year federal investigation into food-stamp fraud has resulted in nine merchants involved withfive convenience stores in the city being charged in connection with the theft of more than $3 million from the program designed to provide food to many of the state’s neediest residents.

Peter F. Neronha, U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island, announced at a news conference Thursday with a host of other federal and state officials the charges involving the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as SNAP.

The merchants allegedly allowed food-stamp recipients to trade their benefits for cash. In exchange, the merchants are accused of adding a substantial surcharge for the illegal service, frequently as much as the cash that was dispensed. Under federal law, food stamps are not allowed to be used to get cash, tobacco products or other goods that do not provide nutritional benefits.

“Some chose to line their own pockets to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars at the taxpayers’ expense,” Neronha said.

He credited undercover investigators and the authorities who combed through thousands of bank records, tax filings and documents involving the stores that were seized April 1 through court-authorized search warrants.

The businessesare Corner Store, 549B Broad St.; Regency Mart, 3 Regency Plaza; Stop & Go Inc., 776 Douglas Ave.; Dugout, 97 Burnside St.; and Cristina’s Market, 524 Smith St.

Arrested are Mustafa Al Kabouni, 52, of Cranston; Mohamad Barbour, 53, of North Providence; Mohamad Amir Al Kabouni, 43, of North Providence; and Mohamad Eid Al Kabouni, 22, of Cranston. The Kabounis and Barbour owned or ran Regency Mart and Corner Store.

Also, Amir Rasheed, 33, of Flushing, N.Y.; Karuna Mehta, 43, of North Smithfield; Cristina Ramirez, 37, of Providence; Glena Lopez, 39, of West Warwick; and Farhan Mustafa, 37, of Providence.

Rasheed is owner of Stop & Go, while Mehta managed the store. Ramirez owns Cristina’s Market. Mustafa is accused of falsely filing an application with the government for the food-stamp program claiming that his corporation owned the Corner Store.

They have all been indicted by a federal grand jury or charged through information filings in connection with fraud.

Records filed in U.S. District Court in Providence show that Farhan Mustafa, Glenda Lopez and Cristina Ramirez have also signed agreements admitting their guilt in connection with food-stamp fraud.


h/t to Refugee Resettlement Watch who has this to add:

As is the usual case, the story has nothing about the immigration status of the perps.  Someone really needs to figure out through what program(s) all of these immigrants are using to set up the convenience stores.  I don’t think its a coincidence that ‘Mom & Pop’ groceries are increasingly owned/managed by foreign interests.

Where to report possible food stamp fraud in you town?

Click here for instructions.

 

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