A Detroit, Michigan, shopkeeper pleaded guilty Tuesday to orchestrating a $2 million food stamp fraud scheme.
Haidar Aoun agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud after admitting that he carried out the fraud for eight years at Detroit’s Lonyo Market, the Associated Press reported.
Aoun allowed customers receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits from the federal government to trade their benefits for cash while he overcharged their benefit cards and pocketed the money reimbursed by the federal government.
As part of his plea deal, Aoun agreed to pay $2.3 million in restitution for food stamp, bank, and Medicaid fraud.
He is likely to face a sentence of 41 to 51 months in federal prison.
Food stamp fraud schemes like the one Aoun pleaded guilty to are quite commonplace among authorized SNAP retailers. In March alone, hundreds of people had been busted for committing food stamp fraud.
On March 17, a South Carolina man was sentenced to 27 months in prison for food stamp fraud and had been ordered to pay $1 million back to the federal government.
Three days before the South Carolina case, Florida’s attorney general announced that nearly 200 people had been busted for committing food stamp fraud in the state.