West Philly grocer gets 16 months, must pay back $2M for food stamp fraud

Money

A West Philadelphia bodega manager was sentenced Monday to prison time for trading food stamp benefits for cash, federal prosecutors announced.

Ibrahim Omar, manager of the Best Way Supermarket at 5131 Chestnut St. in West Philadelphia, was sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to pay $2,256,761.01 in restitution. He will face three years of supervised release after completing his sentence.

Best Way Supermarket was authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to accept USDA food stamp benefits.

Omar was convicted of paying cash to food stamp benefit recipients in exchange for their food stamps, at a rate of 60 cents in cash for every dollar of food stamp benefits

Omar then was able to receive the full face value of the food stamp benefits through deposits from the USDA to Best Way Supermarket’s bank account.

This is illegal under the statutes of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The Philadelphia office of the IRS Criminal Investigation division participated in this investigation.

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