Iowa: Somali Halal Store Owner Says Allegations of Food Stamp Fraud a “Misunderstanding”

I guess Jama Osman will have to convince a court of that, but it sure looks like the feds have got the goods on him!

 

Mid city Halal Market
“MidCity did 45,750 WIC redemptions in January 2019, which was the same level of business as big box stores such as Walmart.”

 

The feds are suing him and want the three homes Osman allegedly purchased with taxpayer dollars stolen from SNAP and WIC programs.

By the way, when you read the story note that he uses a tactic that I haven’t seen before that involves allowing customers to scan bar codes for approved items, but then giving them some cash back (after he took his cut!).

The story is here at KCCI Des Moines,

Market accused of stealing from food assistance programs

DES MOINES, Iowa —
Federal investigators accuse a Des Moines ethnic market of stealing money from state and federal food assistance programs.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is suing Osman Jama, owner of the MidCity Halal Foods Mart, to take possession of three homes it believes he purchased with money taken fraudulently from state and federal food assistance programs.

Osman Jama house
One of three houses Osman allegedly purchased with money stolen from us—the taxpayers.

In a 47-page complaint, investigators accuse Jama of scanning bar codes on a sheet of paper for SNAP- and WIC-approved items, then allowing customers to take cash or non-approved items for less than the value he charged.

SNAP and WIC policy does not allow participants to use the cards to withdraw cash from their accounts.

Investigators said MidCity Halal Foods Market received $1.9 million more from food assistance business than any other market their size in the area from March 2015 to March 2019.

Jama declined an on-camera but let us in to record in the store. He called the accusations against him lies and said there is a misunderstanding.

Investigators report that MidCity did 45,750 WIC redemptions in January 2019, which was the same level of business as big box stores such as Walmart.

Jama attributes the numbers to the unique range of products his market provides.

MidCity sells items that specifically appeal to African immigrants — including halal meat, which is meat slaughtered according to Islamic religious standards.

Okay, fine and dandy, get the homes, but how about sending the ‘new American’ crook to jail and then deporting him.  Or just deport him and save us the expense of incarceration.

Look around where you live, do you have an “ethnic market” nearby? If so, note how much foot traffic is going in and out every day and if it seems excessive you should consider alerting authorities.

7 thoughts on “Iowa: Somali Halal Store Owner Says Allegations of Food Stamp Fraud a “Misunderstanding”

  1. Never deport a criminal alien before his time. Even deportable criminal aliens don’t like jail. If they don’t do their time, then it sends the wrong message to future immigrants.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the tip! Just trying to save the taxpayers some money and sending a Somali back to Somalia might be plenty of punishment I’m thinking!

      Like

    1. You are right! Once in awhile there will be news about those who sold their ‘benefits’ facing legal problems but it is rare!

      Like

  2. Ann you should check this out https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2019/04/17/freedom-of-information-act-supreme-court-public-records-snap-data/3485274002/

    “How did the case start?

    The case centers on a request under FOIA that the Argus Leader made in February of 2011 with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The request asked USDA to turn over several years of annual amounts that taxpayers paid to every business in the country that sells food under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program. Businesses that participate in SNAP include grocers, gas stations, big-box retailers and farmers’ markets.

    Why does this matter: Supreme Court case: Why is Argus Leader seeking food stamp data?

    The Argus Leader felt the taxpayer payments would identify potential instances of food stamp fraud, as well as give more insight into food deserts and food insecurity in rural South Dakota. The payments would also identify which corporations make the most money in the program.” Two paragraphs I cut & paste, the rest is worth reading. I am not in the Dakotas, but they sure have a fine paper there with genuine reporting. I envy Sioux City’s media.

    That we’re filling up our cities with foreigners isn’t inherently “bad”. That we’re filling the cities up with people that don’t identify as patriotic Americans, intent on doing what’s best for their adopted country IS a bad thing. I am seeing more and more of them- they fly their home country’s flag in marches (the country they supposedly fled from? in the country that generously adopted them??) they bash our government, complain we’re “unfair” and so on. These aren’t the immigrants that play on our team.

    Like

    1. Thanks! Looking forward to reading this. Since the case was heard a couple of weeks ago, has there been any other reporting on it. I guess we won’t learn until June how the court ruled.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s