The owners of a Downtown convenience store called City News & Arcade were charged late yesterday with conspiracy and accused of paying cash for food stamps.
Hadi Ibrahim, 42, of Greentree, and Wesam Ibrahim, 40, of Banksville, ran the store, which in October 2009 got U.S. Department of Agriculture approval to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp, benefits.
From mid-2010 through late 2012, the store redeemed around $424,000 in food stamps, "a substantial portion of [which was] unlawfully exchanged for cash and/or accepted as payment for ineligible items, including cigarettes," according to the charges against them.
Reached at the store, Wesam Ibrahim declined immediate comment. He and Hadi are characterized as brothers in the charging documents.
Federal investigators have brought a series of similar charges against store owners accused of defrauding the food stamp program. Assistant U.S. attorney Tonya Sulia Goodman is prosecuting the case.
Rich Lord: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.