The owner of a Newark, New Jersey, grocery store was sentenced to prison for running a $750,000 food stamp fraud benefit scheme.
The judge sentenced Jamil Bader, 60, of Teaneck, to 37 months in prison after Bader pleaded guilty in July to one count of fraud, NBC New York reported.
Bader ran a small grocery store in Newark but placed the ownership of it in another name to avoid his involvement due to a similar fraud scheme where he was banned from accepting food stamps.
Like many fraudsters who run these schemes out of convenience stores, Bader offered customers cash in exchange for food stamp benefits and pocketed some of the money for himself.
Between September 2013 and September 2016, Bader’s scam made $754,424. The court ruled that he will now have to repay the money made through the scam to the federal government.
Authorities say Bader attempted to flee the U.S. to avoid prosecution but was later arrested.
Some store owners convicted of food stamp fraud have received much stiffer penalties for their crimes. One New Jersey man convicted of food stamp fraud faced five years in prison for running a $3 million food stamp fraud operation in Connecticut.
Others have received lesser penalties for the same crime. A Rochester, New York, man was sentenced to eight months’ home detention, two years’ probation, and had to pay back the $82,000 he stole from the government.