Police raided an Ohio millionaire’s home for evidence that he allegedly collected food stamps while he “had millions in the bank.”
Ali Pascal Mahvi, who claims to have “ties to Iranian royalty,” and his family received $300 a month in food stamps and Medicaid over the past two years while living in an 8,000 square-foot home with an in-ground swimming pool and sports cars, KSDK reported.
Prosecutors say that Mahvi collected benefits even though he had millions of dollars in the bank, some in offshore accounts.
Detectives are looking at the family’s bank accounts to calculate their total worth in order to investigate the theft and welfare fraud, KSDK reports.
“It’s outrageous to see a situation where somebody is living in a house almost worth a million dollars, a horse barn, driving luxury cars, have millions of dollars in overseas bank accounts and here they are accepting this type of assistance,” said Geauga County Prosecutor James R. Flaiz.
Mahvi, however, maintains his innocence, saying that he is eligible for aid because his $800,000 home and personal belongings don’t keep him from obtaining welfare.
“The allegations are not true,” he said. “I’m not guilty.”
He also said that he relies on loans from friends to help his family survive.
“If you don’t like the [food stamp] system, change it,” Mahvi said. “I can borrow a hundred million dollars from friends and still get food stamps.”
Police obtained a search warrant to search through Mahvi’s six-acre home last week to seize more evidence. They also searched through a Lexus and a BMW parked in the family’s four-car garage.
Geauga County investigators found that the family has at least 14 bank accounts worth more than $4.2 million, officials say. Officials say the funds were not disclosed when Mahvi applied for benefits.
Mahvi said the accounts were old and that one of the accounts was under his father’s name.
A grand jury hearing and indictment is expected to follow the raid, KSDK reports.