Louisiana Man Cleared of Food Stamp Fraud Charges

Mustafa Abdel Abdelatif (Photo: Courtesy/Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office)
Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office

A Louisiana man accused of running a food stamp fraud scheme in June 2019 was cleared of all charges on Monday.

Mustafa Abdel Abdelatif, 45, was arrested last year on felony counts of racketeering, bank fraud, money laundering, computer fraud, and unauthorized use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, the Alexandria Town Talk reported.

All of the counts against him were dropped on Monday.

Abdelatif was the last of three defendants accused of partaking in a $1.2 million food stamp fraud operation running out of the Food Mart convenience store in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Investigators with the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations’ Insurance Fraud Unit arrested Food Mart’s owner, Mohammad Abudayeh, 25, in March 2019.

The unit initially started an investigation into the store through the Department of Children and Family Services in June 2018 due to the high volume of transactions coming out of the store.

Officials alleged that Abudayeh would trade customers’ SNAP benefits for cash and that the store conducted $1.2 million in fraudulent transactions between October 2017 and March 2019.

The 104 people who allegedly sold their benefits for cash were banned from using the program and ordered to pay the state $254,132.64 for the fraudulent transactions.

Abudayeh is due back in court for a pretrial conference on February 26 on the same felony charges Abdelatif faced before he was acquitted.

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