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Case Number: 2:20-cr-00035-ALM
Judge: Algenon L. Marbley
Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Franklin County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States District Attorney’s Office, Columbus, Ohio
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Description: Columbus, Ohio criminal defense lawyer represented defendants charged with WIC fraud.
Hassan and Abdurahim Nuriso, owners of the Somali specialty market Towfiq Market on Sullivant Avenue, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit food stamp and WIC fraud. The brothers redeemed more than $10 million in SNAP and WIC benefits at their store between 2010 and 2019.
A federal grand jury charged the pair in February 2020.
As part of the conspiracy, brothers Hassan, 40, and Abdurahim Nuriso, 47, converted illegally obtained food stamp benefits, WIC coupons and WIC electronic benefits into money, in order to use the money for other purposes.
The defendants allowed SNAP and WIC beneficiaries to purchase items that were not redeemable through the food stamp or WIC programs.
In total, Hassan and Abdurahim Nuriso redeemed in excess of $8 million of SNAP benefits and nearly $2.1 million in WIC benefits at Towfiq Market between 2010 and November 2019.
As part of their pleas, the Nurisos will forfeit nearly $245,000. Approximately $18,650 in cash was seized during a federal search and seizure warrant at one of the Nuriso brother’s homes in Grove City in November 2018. More than $10,000 was seized during during the execution of a federal search and seizure warrant at Towfiq Market.
David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),Cincinnati Division; and Anthony V. Mohatt, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, announced the pleas entered into today before Chief U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley. Assistant United States Attorney Brenda S. Shoemaker is representing the United States in this case.
CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD THE UNITED STATES
TRANSFER OR UNAUTHORIZED USE OF FOOD STAMPS
REDEMPTION OF ILLEGALLY RECEIVED FOOD STAMPS
MISAPPROPRIATION OF FUNDS, PENALTIES, STATE RECORDS
PUBLIC MONEY, PROPERTY OR RECORDS
Outcome: Minute Entry for proceedings held before Chief Judge Algenon L. Marbley:Change of Plea Hearing as to Hassan Nuriso, Abdurahim Nuriso held on 10/2/2020; Both defendant;s pled GUILTY to all counts; PSI ordered; Stmt of facts agreed and signed; Both defendants to remain on bond (Court Reporter: Shawna Evans) (bc) (Entered: 10/02/2020)