Delaware: Largest “Known” Food Stamp Fraud Bust in State’s History

That is what the Associated Press reported yesterday when announcing that a Wilmington Convenience Store owner is headed to the slammer.

snap fraud posters
A state by state list of where to report suspected food stamp fraud is here:  https://www.fns.usda.gov/report-nutrition-assistance-fraud-state

New American, Debasish Muhuri, has been sentenced to 14 months and was ordered to repay US taxpayers $1.7 million in restitution for bilking the SNAP program.

According to the AP, he used the standard practice for stealing from the food stamp program which was designed to feed poor people, but instead is now used regularly by crooks running convenience stores and their patrons looking for easy cash.

Here is what AP said at Delaware Online:

 

Muhuri and his wife owned the “Mama” and “Mama Convenient/Uniform” stores in Wilmington.

Authorities say that between 2014 and 2017, Muhuri illegally bought customers’ food stamps for cash, normally paying only half of their value.

He then redeemed the benefits at full value from the government and pocketed the difference.

 

I’ve been following these schemes off and on for nearly 12 years after I became aware of  the fraud in the county where I live. That store owner, Mohammad Khan, was ultimately arrested and sentenced to time in prison as well as ordered to pay restitution.

However, the jail time is usually short and I’ve never seen a case where the convicted scammer was deported.

I have dozens and dozens of posts at Refugee Resettlement Watch about food stamp fraud. Click here if you want to see some doozies.

A favorite story from 2011

One of my all time favorites was this one from Waukegan, Wisconsin back in 2011. The story was reported in the Chicago Sun-Times, but as expected, that story is no longer available so it’s a good thing I captured some of it.

The crooks, Khaled Saleh, 46, and Fatima Saleh, 35 were arrested after Fatima tried to make a run for it with a suitcase full of cash while dragging her mother behind her.

 

After a north suburban couple’s grocery was searched during a food stamp and nutrition program fraud investigation, the woman was caught trying to flee with more than $350,000 in a suitcase, federal prosecutors claim.

The couple, who own and operate Sunset Food Market in Waukegan, allegedly defrauded the federal food stamp and nutrition programs of more than $500,000 over the last two years, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

[….]

Agents executed a search warrant at Sunset Market on April 26. After the search, Fatima Saleh went to her apartment and agents observed her leaving a short time later with a suitcase and her mother, the release said.

 

The Salehs used the same method as Khan had done where I live, and Delaware’s Debasish Muhuri did recently.

Customer with SNAP benefits comes in and wants cash. He or she sells benefits at 50 cents on the dollar. Customer walks away with cash (often for drug money!) and the manager/owner submits the full dollar for reimbursement by the government (well, by you and me, the taxpayers).

Reporter Katherine Rodriguiz at Breitbart recently cataloged her top nine food stamp fraud stories from 2018, here.  But, you need to follow links back to see the names of the perps.

question markSo, again, why are we kept in the dark about Debasish Muhuri’s nationality and immigration status? Is he here legally? And, if so through which legal program did he become a new American? If we knew how these criminal minds were entering the US, maybe we could fix the loopholes.

 

Alert: Detectives Asking for Public’s Help Identifying Unknown Victims in Unlawful Filming Case

Mumtaz RaufMy headline is the headline of an e-mail alert sent out to residents of Northern Virginia after the arrest of 39-year-old Mumtaz Rauf for allegedly filming a teenage girl in a Fairfax mall dressing room.

See my earlier post here.

Quoting from the alert (hat tip: Cathy):

Detectives are asking for the public’s help identifying victims from video recordings found on the phone of 39-year-old Mumtaz Rauf. Rauf was arrested December 24th for the unlawful filming of a minor at the Forever 21 store in Fair Oaks Mall.

Detectives have been working diligently since Rauf’s arrest to identify the victims, as well as the stores where the unlawful recordings took place. So far, we’ve found approximately 60 female victims on over 100 videos in fitting rooms from Rauf’s cell phone, with several of them appearing to be juveniles.

The videos we’ve recovered were taken between December 15th and December 24th.

Currently we know some of the recordings took place at Forever 21 and H&M at Fair Oaks Mall. We also believe some of the videos may have been taken at the Fair Lakes Old Navy. It is still very early in the investigation and there are more stores in the videos that have yet to be identified.

So far the locations and approximate time frames we have been able to identify are:

December 22, 2018:
1:15pm – 2:10pm, Fair Lakes Old Navy
2:50pm – 3:20pm, Fair Oaks Mall H&M
3:40pm – 4:15pm, Fair Oaks Mall Forever 21
4:25pm – 5:45pm, Fair Oaks Mall H&M

December 24, 2018:
12:30pm – 2:00pm, Fair Oaks Mall Forever 21 and H&M

There is also a time period from 9:15pm-10:00pm on December 22 where we believe he was possibly at the H&M and Old Navy at Tysons Corner Center.

[….]

There were other inappropriate video recordings found on Rauf’s phone, including several videos where he secretly filmed up a woman’s skirt. Detectives continue to analyze evidence in an effort to positively identify all the victims and the locations where the crimes occurred.

[….]

We are also investigating whether illegal images have been shared or placed on the internet.

[….]

Rauf is currently behind bars with no bond on unrelated drug charges.

[….]

We’ve set up a dedicated phone line at 703-246-4600 for anyone who thinks they may have been filmed by Rauf in a fitting room between December 15th and December 24th.

 

 

Imagine seeing those dates, times and places and knowing you were in a dressing room there at that very time and that your image might be being viewed around the world.

Ladies, I assume you will be examining the walls of every dressing room you enter probably forever!

Fairfax County Police held a press conference yesterday afternoon.  If I learn more, I’ll update this post.

question markAs is to be expected, there is no information about Rauf’s nationality or immigration status, surely the police have that information, so why not tell the public?