Grocery Owners Change Plea In Food Stamp Fraud

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The owners of a Wichita grocery store have admitted defrauding the government by unlawfully cashing their customers' food stamps for about half their value and pocketing the difference.

Muhammad Qadeer Akram and his wife, Shama Qadeer pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy, food stamp fraud and wire fraud. The couple own Alnoor Grocery and Biryani House in Wichita. Their sentencing is set for Dec. 7.

They're accused of conspiring with a man who scoured homeless shelters for people willing to sell their government benefits.

Prosecutors charged 13 people in two indictments for a scheme that defrauded the government out of more than $580,000. So far, all but two have pleaded guilty to related charges.

Another defendant, Kansas Food Market owner Ahmed Ajami Al-Maleki, faces sentencing Nov. 21.

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