Guilty Pleas in Nyack Food Stamp Fraud

Nissar Ahmed, 61, and Shafaqat Ali, 57, have each pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a Class “E” felony, in connection with a scheme to redeem food stamp benefits in exchange for cash and other goods. 
Ahmed and Ali, owners of the Nyack Food Mart, Inc., 4 Waldron Avenue, Nyack, New York, allowed people to use their Supplemental Nutritional Aid Program (SNAP) electronic benefit transfer cards to receive cash back and/or purchase alcohol, cigarettes and other prohibited items. 
Nyack Food Mart, Inc. was also charged in the case. The business, as a corporate entity, also pled guilty to Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree. 
"Unscrupulous retailers who trade food stamp credits for cash are on notice: we will find you and prosecute you," said District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe in a press release. "Our taxpayers support the program to provide food for needy residents, not to turn convenience store cash registers into ATM's." 

"The abuse of the SNAP program is particularly infuriating because we know there are many of residents who really do need this help,"  Rockland County Department of Social Services Commissioner Susan Sherwood said in the release.
"We at DSS are watchful and I encourage all residents to feel free to call us anonymously at InfoRock 364-2020 if they see or suspect any misdealing with any of our programs." 
Benefits are distributed to low-income recipients in New York through the use of electronic benefit transfer cards. Individuals enrolled in the program are only allowed to purchase eligible items with their EBT cards, such as milk, bread and eggs. Recipients are not permitted to purchase items such as alcohol and cigarettes. They are also not allowed to obtain cash from merchants in exchange for SNAP benefits.  

SNAP is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.


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