Father-son duo arrested in Florida food stamp scam

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   April 4, 2013 at 2:32 PM   |   Comments

April 4 (UPI) -- A Florida convenience store owner and his son were charged with fraud and misappropriating public assistance funds after investigators found that the two had bought EBT (food stamp) cards from customers and used that money to purchase store goods.

According to The Daytona Beach News-Journal, the Israeli-born Bassale Sale Abu Diab, and his U.S.-born son, Matthew Bassam Abu Diab, managed to pocket $88,000 in the scam they ran out of the 4M Food Mart in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Authorities used undercover officers to sell EBT cards to the father-and-son duo. On Feb 28., for example, an officer sold them an EBT card for $210, which Matthew Abu Diab used to buy $420.14 in goods from Walmart and Save-A-Lot stores.

“These unscrupulous business owners buy these cards for pennies on the dollar or they allow you to buy beer and cigarettes at an exorbitant price,” Daytona Beach Police Chief Michael Chitwood told WFTV in Orlando.

“This guy is running a business on the taxpayers back," he added. "It's a fraud. He's unscrupulous and clearly he didn't learn from the last time we hit the store."

WFTV said that Bassam Abu Diab has faced similar charges before.

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