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10:16 am
Fri October 15, 2010

Food Stamp Fraud

Oklahoma City, OK –

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) State and federal authorities say about 30 people have been arrested in the Oklahoma City metro following a food stamp fraud investigation.

Authorities released few details of the investigation and identified only two of the suspects convenience store owners Muluneh Zeleke (MU'-luhn-eh zeh-LEEK') and Muhammad Zahid (zah-HEED).

Both are accused in federal indictments of defrauding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program of more than $1.8 million.

Zeleke hung up when contacted by The Oklahoman. An attorney for Zahid declined comment.

Both are accused of allowing customers to use their electronic benefit cards for cash and splitting the money with them. Those who receive the cards are to use them to buy food and merchants are prohibited from providing cash.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.