Food stamp fraud has been an issue for a long time. But it worsened under the Obama administration for the past eight years. Primarily because under their progressive agenda the administration encouraged expanding and increasing entitlement benefits. But unfortunately such expansion has led to outright fraud and crime. In recent years cases of million dollar fraud cases have come to light and now another one has.
A man from Baltimore, Maryland was tried, convicted, and sentenced to a total of four years in federal prison for illegally trafficking and using food stamps. He is 51 years old and his name is Mohammad Shafiq. It was U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett who sentenced him and also gave him three years of supervised release upon the ending of his prison stay.
The Baltimore Sun reported he will also have to pay $3.7 million in restitution for his crimes! Shafiq is just one of dozens of other cases of such fraud that were and are being prosecuted by fourteen separate retailers in the Baltimore, Maryland area. This started back in August 2016 when a federal grand jury indicted different retailers for food stamp and wire fraud. Which both carry felony charges.
In total the retailers stole approximately $16 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Their crime was illegally exchanging food stamps for cash. Which is a common crime amongst food stamp users. A total of twelve of the fourteen defendants plead guilty. Two of them were sentenced just this past week.
This is not an issue that just affects Maryland either. This is an epidemic. Federal investigators have found that their has been $20 million in food stamp fraud with a plethora of retailers in Florida as well as close to 140 stores in the Chicago, Illinois metropolitan area. This is an issue that affects the entire country.
The President understands first hand the dangers of unchecked entitlement benefits. Which is why he has worked to rollback excessive entitlement expenditures. Under the President’s new budget he will cut back $193 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This is the modern day version of what is known as food stamps.
This rollback in the budget will span a period of ten years. The budget would thusly be cut by approximately 25 percent. The food stamp program is part of an umbrella of other welfare benefits. The President has made it clear he wants to cut the welfare program which totals approximately $274 billion.
Cutting back the funding for these programs is simply cutting out waste. It is clear that if an individual is able to have such a large scale fraud operation that their benefits are not being used appropriately and thus are not needed. This cutback is not hurting the poor individuals who simply need a hand up like liberals would like to portray it to be but instead it is hurting the criminals trying to take advantage of the system.
Those are the people we want to target and that is exactly what this President is trying to do and will do.