Muhammad Sarmad made out like a bandit when he got caught committing $16 million in food stamp fraud. Judge Richard D. Bennett gave him ONLY 18 months in jail and a few years of supervised release for his participation in food stamp and wire fraud that had a connection to a scheme to illegally redeem SNAP benefits in exchange for cash.
If Sarmad was a smart man, then he’d have wads of cash hidden under a mattress somewhere, waiting for him upon his release from prison. Give up a year and a half of his life in the slammer and have millions waiting for him on release day? If he survives, of course. That almost sounds too good to be true. It’s like what you see in an Ocean’s 11 movie.
What does someone do with $16 million in fraudulently acquired money? If they’re smart, then they invest it. If not, then it’s squandered or hidden and they’ll likely be robbed anyway.
What was the judge thinking when he ONLY appointed 1.5 years in jail for robbing taxpayers and the government of $16 million? Will they ever pay it back? Where’s the money? What was purchased? How can he pay back $3.5 million if the money is gone? How come he only has to pay back that much and what about the rest?
Regardless of the money, some people believe the judge was too easy on the man who was connected with such a big heist of taxpayer funds. People want him jailed longer than 18 months.
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Muhammad Sarmad, age 41, of Nottingham, Maryland, to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to illegally redeem food stamp benefits in exchange for cash. At the sentencing on March 27, 2017, Judge Bennett also ordered that Sarmad pay restitution of $3,550,662.
All of the stores were authorized to accept SNAP, except the M&A Mart. According to their plea agreements, from October 2010 through at least July 2016, Sarmad, Irfan, and their co-conspirators exchanged EBT benefits for cash, in violation of the food stamp program rules. Sarmad, Irfan, and their co-conspirators typically paid half the value of the EBT benefits in cash. To avoid detection, they often debited the funds from the card in multiple transactions over a period of hours or days, or called a different store where the transaction was processed manually. Since the M&A Mart was not authorized to accept SNAP, Sarmad or a co-conspirator would call one of the other stores to run the transaction at the other store and then hand out the cash at M&A Mart.
Talk about a scam! This is why we need welfare reform. There are too many people buying things that they shouldn’t have access to. Too many people scamming the system with trade-offs. Too many people ON welfare to begin with. Why is that? Because it’s so easy to scam. You can go to Craigslist and see people selling their benefits for much cheaper value. Then they hop to the nearest alley and buy some drugs, spend the night getting wasted, don’t ever get a job, and people like you and I pay for it with our taxes.
Time for the government to cut those EBT cards in half and make people work for a living. Can’t fraud the system if there is no system. Welfare needs reform, tighter restrictions, and people actively investigating the people who use it. We can’t have money leaking out of our hands due to welfare fraud.
Welfare fraud is not a successful way to bring up an economy or make a living. You’ll drown in the swamp if you do that.
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