Local & Regional
8:55 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Plea in Food Stamp Case

Oklahoma City, OK – Okla store owner pleads guilty to food stamp fraud

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A convenience store owner has pleaded guilty to defrauding the food stamp program.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Muhammad Zahid entered the plea Monday to unlawfully redeeming a beneficiary's food stamp benefits for cash.

A federal grand jury indicted Zahid, owner of Ghani Mart in northeast Oklahoma City, in October.

He's accused of conspiring with others to purchase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for cash for 50 cents on the dollar. He then debited recipients' Access Oklahoma cards for the full dollar benefit.

It's alleged that he redeemed more than $652,000 from the Agriculture Department, which administers the program.

Zahid could face up to five years in prison, a fine and restitution.

His attorney didn't immediately return a call seeking comment on Monday.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.