Thursday, June 22, 2006

Grocer pleads guilty in food-stamp fraud Chicago Tribune

Hatem Fariz, of Spring Hill, Fla., admitted that from May 1999 to December 2000 he fraudulently redeemed more than $1.6 million from the Link program.

Fariz would let customers swipe their food-stamp cards for specific amounts of money and then pay them back a lesser amount in cash. He would then collect the difference.

Fariz, who formerly led a Chicago mosque, moved to Florida, where he was arrested for funding Islamic Jihad. At trial last year, a jury acquitted him of several terror-related charges but didn't reach a verdict on eight counts. He is free on $1.1 million bail.

For admitting fraud and money laundering in Chicago, he faces up to 3 years, 5 months in prison

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