OAKLAND, Calif. (BCN) — A federal jury on Wednesday convicted a father and son in a food stamp fraud case, United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds announced Thursday.
Ali Mugalli Hassan, 32, and Mugalli Ahmed Hassan, 50, both of Alameda, were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States, government benefits fraud greater than $5,000, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, prosecutors said. Ali Mugalli Hassan owned and operated a convenience store on International Boulevard in Oakland, and members of his family served as cashiers at the store.
The convenience store was an authorized vendor for the USDA’s Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. The store conducted a high volume of SNAP transactions, including redeeming more than $2.3 million in benefits between August of 2014 and November of 2017, prosecutors said.
Evidence presented at the trial showed the defendants conducted fraudulent SNAP transactions through the convenience store by charging purchases to customers’ electric benefits transaction cards when the customers received few or no eligible products. Prosecutors said the defendants kept half the value of the fraudulent transactions and returned the remainder in cash to the customers.
As part the of the scheme, the defendants kept the cards and used the federal benefits assigned to those cards at other stores to purchase items to sell at their convenience store. Prior to the trial, Mugalli Ahmed Hassan pleaded guilty to nine counts of wire fraud.
Both men are scheduled for sentencing on December 8. Another family member, identified as Ahmed Ahmed Hasan Dharahan, 41, of Oakland, is a co-defendant in the case, and his case is still pending.
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