News release from the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana:
Ayad Al-Shaibani Sentenced In Food Stamp Case
Al Shaibani Ordered To Pay $1,714,207.10 In Restitution
(October 7, 2015) – The United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, David Capp, announces that on October 6, 2015, Ayad Al-Shaibani, 44, of Fort Wayne, Indiana was sentenced to 3 years’ probation with 6 months’ home detention and was ordered to pay $1,714,207.10 following his plea of guilty for food stamp benefits fraud.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, Special Agent-in-Charge Anthony V. Mohatt said: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was created to provide food and nutrition to those who truly need this assistance. Those who are involved in fraud and abuse of SNAP and other USDA programs will be aggressively pursued by our office. Our joint effort in this investigation helps brings to justice individuals who sought to profit from the SNAP program through illegal schemes. The USDA Office of Inspector General will continue to dedicate resources and work with our local law enforcement partners in order to protect the integrity of this and other USDA programs and to pursue prosecution of those who commit fraud.
According to documents filed in the case, on or about February 6, 2013, Al-Shaibani did knowingly acquire and possess United States Department of Agriculture food stamp benefits from an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card for a transaction in excess of $100 in a manner not authorized by the Food Stamp Program. By swiping and accepting an EBT card for $128.00 from a customer for the purchase of some eligible food items (4 Energy Drink cans), Al-Shaibani violated 7 U.S.C. 2024(b)(1) .
In his plea agreement he agreed to repay restitution to the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service and to forfeiture of a personal money judgment in the amount of $1,714.207.10. This sum represented the count of conviction and all relevant conduct between 2008 and 2013 for food stamp trafficking at his store, the Calhoun Market, S. Calhoun Street, Fort Wayne Indiana. Calhoun Market had been authorized in 2007 to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for eligible food items. The SNAP benefits were provided to eligible recipients by virtue of an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) device in Indiana called the Hoosier Works card.
This investigation was conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, Investigations and was assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tina Nommay.