Arlington shop owner gets nearly 5 years in fraud case

Posted Friday, Jan. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH _ An Arlington convenience store owner was sentenced Friday to 57 months in federal prison for committing food stamp fraud, wire fraud, and running an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Ali Ugas Mohamud, who owned the Tawakal Grocery Store at 2440 South Collins Street, must also pay more than $1.4 million in restitution, $98,000 of which is due immediately, U.S. District Judge John McBryde ordered, according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney's office.

According to court documents, Mohamud had applied for and was granted authorization in February 2004 for his store to participate in the food stamp program, the United States Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.

Beginning in 2009, however, Mohamud began occasionally exchanging food stamp benefits for cash or wired money to other individuals in Somalia using food stamp benefits, court documents state.

As part of his scheme, he also wired thousands of dollars from Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., which manages Lone Star cards for retailers, to his bank in Arlington between September 2008 and Februrary 2010.

Mohamud had pleaded guilty in October to seven counts of food stamp fraud, five counts of wire fraud and one count of conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business. McBryde sentenced him to 13 concurrent sentences of 57 months in federal prison on each count.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Internal Revenue Service, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the release states.

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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