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Man gets prison in food stamp case

March 20, 2009

HAGERSTOWN -- The man who owned Nadia's Convenience Store at 200 W. Franklin St. in Hagerstown was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison for food stamp fraud, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore.

Mohammad T. Khan, 40, of Hagerstown, also was ordered to pay restitution of $319,000 and serve three years of supervised probation upon his release, Marcy Murphy, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Attorney's Office, said in the release.

From at least Jan. 1, 2005, through Sept. 30, 2007, Khan and employees of Nadia's routinely exchanged cash for electronic benefits card (EBT) benefits in violation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's food stamp program, Murphy said.

In 2006, the agriculture department was informed the business was exchanging the EBT benefits for cash, Murphy said.

At the direction of law enforcement, an informant presented an EBT card to the cashier at Nadia's. The individual asked the cashier for one-half of the balance on the EBT card in cash. The cashier gave the individual $50 in cash, swiped the card in the store's point-of-sale terminal and deducted $100 from the EBT card balance, Murphy said.

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In accordance with the administration of the food stamp program, Nadia's bank account automatically was credited with the total amount of EBT benefit transactions completed by the store, including $100 for that transaction, Murphy said.

Khan's business was credited with more than $319,000 in EBT deposits for food sales that never occurred, Murphy said.

In 2004, the U.S. Department of Agriculture fined Khan for a violation, selling noneligible items in exchange for electronic benefits card (EBT) benefits, Murphy said.

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