New Twist on Food Stamp Fraud: Redeem your Benefits at a Nail Salon

One thing is for sure—new American entrepreneurs are clever, so clever that I am sure many are escaping unnoticed in every immigrant community in America.

food stamp fraud
But there is no food at a nail salon!

This is a story from Rochester, NY where an Asian owner of a nail salon was able to set up a scam that allowed his customers to use their food stamps (our money!) to get their nails done.
Is this what the cabal behind the New American Economy is talking about when they proudly proclaim that immigrant-run businesses are propping up dying cities?
I have maintained for years that money might be flowing into dying cities when immigrants (aka NEW Americans) arrive largely because the money comes via Washington and federal programs set up to benefit the poor, but it isn’t new money!  It is money from federal tax payers recycled to places like Utica, Buffalo or, as in this case, Rochester, NY.

Here is the story from WHAM Rochester,

Rochester nail salon owner charged with SNAP benefit fraud

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHAM) – A Rochester nail salon owner was arrested and charged with accepting SNAP benefits when his business was not authorized to do so.
nail salon fraud
Hang Lam, 46, was arrested and charged with the unauthorized use, transfer, acquisition, and possession of USDA food stamp benefits. [I am guessing that Lam is Vietnamese.—ed]
Lam is accused of allowing multiple people to pay for non-food items using a SNAP benefits card from April 19 through October 1, 2018 at his business, Young’s Nails, on North Goodman Street near East Main Street.
Young’s Nails does not sell food and is not authorized to accept SNAP benefits.

I love to see this information about how undercover agents are used to sniff out these frauds.


Undercover federal agents conducted five undercover purchases at Young’s Nails using a SNAP EBT card.
Some of the purchases were for nail services such as manicures and pedicures, and non-nail service items such as cigarettes, jewelry, and cash. Lam allegedly charged twice the original cost when a SNAP EBT card was used. After a purchase was made, Lam used three SNAP benefit-approved stores to process the undercover transactions: the Tanhong Du Supermarket on N. Clinton Avenue in Rochester, Ocean Garden Oriental Foods Inc. on S. Clinton Avenue in Rochester, and the Asia Food Market on Brighton-Henrietta Town Line Road.

So I’m guessing that those three markets are all involved in trafficking in food stamps!

question-mark-1If you suspect food stamp fraud where you live, here is a handy list of state-by-state numbers to call to report your suspicions.  Or, you might want to talk with your local police department. That route worked near where I live when the police chief sent in a few local police undercover officers to do the initial investigation.  
See my entire food stamp fraud category here for more background on trafficking in food stamps.
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4 thoughts on “New Twist on Food Stamp Fraud: Redeem your Benefits at a Nail Salon

  1. I once worked a case where Chinese criminals, who owned a restaurant, took an employee hostage. They beat him for hours, trying to extort money they thought he recently received from an insurance claim. After almost twenty four hours of off, and on, beatings, they decided to let him go. Before dropping him off, they made him record a statement saying he had cheated the restaurant out of money. This they thought would cover their tracks for the crimes they committed against the employee.
    They beat the guy so badly that, even though he feared their retaliation, he called for an ambulance. The ambulance crew quickly realized they had an assault victim on their hands, so the police were notified. The police turned the case over to the Asian Organized Crime Task Force I was then assigned to.
    We met the victim in the trauma care unit of a hospital. We quickly obtained the perpetrators names, and their association with the restaurant.
    We obtained a search warrant for the restaurant, and a nearby basement storage sight, where most of the beatings took place.
    During the search, we discovered huge blocks of cheese, and gallon containers of juice. They were marked “WIC” (women with infant children program). These gangsters were sending the wife of one of the owners (also Chinese) to get a WIC account, and draw these items for use behind the Restaurant bar. During happy hours these were used for bar snacks.
    One of the owners had a prior convictions in Maryland for running an illegal gambling house, possession of a sawed off shotgun, possession of heroin. He was an overstay on a U.S. issued tourist visa. Later we discovered he never was a lawful resident of Hong Kong, where he managed to obtain the visa on false Hong Kong identity documents. He was actually a citizen of the Peoples Republic of China.
    He managed to get released from the Maryland prison, before the INS could pick him up on a detainer.
    The other owner, we discovered, also had a previous felony conviction in Hong Kong. Somehow it wasn’t discovered when he immigrated to America.
    This all happened in the early 1990s. We were just beginning to get better at identifying deportable aliens locked up in our jails and prisons. Unfortunately, there are far more deportable aliens in our American lockups than there are ICE agents. Add in the sanctuary nonsense, and you can only begin to imagine just how many criminal aliens escape deportation.
    This is reason for the recent ACLU case, where they tried to get the SCOTUS to say you couldn’t deport an alien, if he managed to gain release, before being deported. Fortunately, the SCOTUS ruled time wasn’t on their side, and they were still deportable, and detonable until such deportation was carried out.
    Of course ICE won’t find much support from local law enforcement in Maryland, because the state has moved so far liberal.

  2. Ann your link is incorrect- it leads to a different article- here’s the correct one:
    About that salon getting caught, I wonder if it was from a disgruntled customer or vengeful ex-lover/wife et al who blew the whistle. SNAP doesn’t have a staff of fraud investigators, people need to know this. Almost every single instance of EBT fraud was discovered only because someone turned in the perpetrator(s). That goes for Social Security Disability too- no one is fighting for the side of the taxpayer, even in the courtroom: “[in SSDI denial cases when the applicant goes to court to dispute the denial of benefits] the government is not represented. There is no government lawyer on the other side of the room.” Source link By the way Ann- that’s a whole ‘nother scam on industrial levels- SSI and SSDI. Have you written on the numbers of migrants who’s children collect SSI? SSDI? I recently read a pdf with those numbers, it was pretty disgusting. I’m not sure if I saved the pdf or where I found it online, but it should not be that hard to find for those wishing to look for it.
    Thank you Ann another great story.

    1. Thanks so much for catching the bad link! Would love to write about SSI since refugees arriving here are eligible for it and I’ve mentioned that on previous occasions.

  3. PS Ann- Pertussis making a comeback:
    Story from 2014: “California is battling the worst whooping cough epidemic in 70 years.Six of 10 infants who have become ill during the current outbreak are Latino.Nearly 10,000 cases have been reported in the state so far this year, and babies are especially prone to hospitalization or even death. There’s no conclusive explanation, but there are a few theories that range from Latino cultural factors to a lack of health insurance.” Link PS- the hotlink on the article leads to a pdf, which you must use the Wayback machine to download.
    Don’t you love NPR’s take on this? “there’s no conclusive explanation… .” Hm maybe it’s “cultural factors” < what the heck is that supposed to mean? Their culture doesn't respect medicine? It's baloney. The FACTOR is they're not vaccinated, never were. Almost every article on vaccinations vs anti-vaccinated persons in the US – the writing does all it can to steer the reader away from a possibility the carrier is an unvaccinated 3rd worlder. Reminds me of the story Fox News I believe, where an ICE detention officer described having to explain to newly arrived undocumented what a drinking fountain is for- they also had to demand the migrants wash hands after using the toilet (to help prevent disease in the camps)!

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