65
      Wednesday
      89 / 68
      Thursday
      86 / 64
      Friday
      83 / 66

      Three Syracuse businesses searched in connection to food stamp fraud, four arrested

      Three Syracuse markets were searched Thursday morning in connection with an investigation in to New York food stamp fraud and trafficking violations. Four individuals were arrested for falsifying business records and misuse of food stamps.

      Syracuse Police say they searched the S&R Convenience store at 303 South Avenue, Lexington Market at 105 Lexington Avenue, and the All American Market at 401 Pond Street.

      Officials say the raids were the result a year-long investigation. The three stores were purchasing food stamp benefits at a rate less than their full value from customers.

      The S&R Convenience store is accused of committing fraud against the federal food stamp program for approximately $210,000. Malek Mobarez, of S&R Convenience, is charged with falsifying business records and misuse of food stamps. He was issued an appearance ticket.

      Lexington Market is accused of committing fraud against federal food stamp program for approximately $170,000. Joudah Mere, of Lexington Market, is charged with falsifying business records and misuse of food stamps. He was issued an appearance ticket.

      All American Market is accused of committing fraud federal food stamp program for approximately $60,000. Moufida Ibrahim and Edres Ibrahim, of All American Market, were charged with falsifying business records and misuse of food stamps. They were both issued appearance tickets.

      "These types of schemes result in misuse of government funds, illegal profiteering and the creation of a black market for fraudulently obtained food stamp benefits. These benefit cards are intended to provide food for needy families and instead are lining the pockets of criminals," says Onondaga District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick.

      The search warrants were executed by the USDA Inspector General??s Office, Syracuse Police, the Onondaga County District Attorney??s Office, the Onondaga Department of Social Services and the NYS Tax and Finance Office.