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New Immigrants Masters at Food Stamp Fraud
Fox News ^ | Thursday, November 28, 2002 | Matt Hayes

Posted on 11/28/2002 11:02:49 AM PST by Sparta

After he’d gone 90 days without payment, my law firm informed Shihad that we could do no more on his case until he made a payment. He pulled a wad of food stamps our of his wallet and said, "Give me some time to sell these."

Shihad, who’d won his asylum case a few months earlier, might have been eligible for food stamps, but he wasn't eligible to sell them. No one is. It's a crime. "Shihad," I said, "I'm withdrawing. You're trying to pay me with the proceeds of a crime."

The commonness of food stamp fraud among America's new immigrants is staggering. Many recent immigrants do not even understand that selling food stamps is a crime, representing, as they do, a form of individualized assistance. Most look at food stamps as just one more thing to barter, so for between 10 and 80 cents on the dollar, they are converted to cash. Never mind that the food stamp was invented to prevent public assistance, formerly given in cash, from being frittered away on non-food items.

How much money is lost each year to food stamp fraud? About $30 million, according to the best estimate provided by the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. But recent immigrants are not just selling the food stamps they receive, they profit from it, too.

Large scale food stamp fraud came to light in an explosive way in 1996, when authorities in Ohio discovered that a Jordanian man and his uncle had deposited $24 million in purchased food stamps in the bank accounts associated with their chain of food and video stores. Just before authorities descended on them with arrest warrants, they deeded their property over to their wives, which included $300,000 homes, and fled to Jordan.

More recently, food stamp fraud has been refined by "asylees" -- asylum seekers -- fleeing Somalia, where rampant starvation serves as the basis of those asylum claims. Asylees are one of a very small number of immigrant groups who are normally eligible for food stamps. Last year, according to documents filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office with the District Court in Seattle, Wash., a ring of Somali couples based in Washington leveraged their skills into a multi-layered public assistance fraud that even involved cash payments from the government. One of the couples netted $40,000 in food stamp fraud alone. Be comforted that the United States was not their only victim. The ring claimed residences on both sides of the border, and Canada, too, was taken for many tens of thousands of dollars.

Food stamp fraud has taken on more sinister dimensions within the last year and a half. Last autumn, the FBI determined that the Somali asylee community in Seattle, set with food stamps and other forms of public assistance, was targeted by the Al-Barakaat Wire Transfer company, a wire transfer and hawala banking outfit with known connections to Al Qaeda. Al-Barakaat set up a storefront in Seattle and immediately went to work selling Qat, a mild narcotic popular with Somalis, and converting food stamps to money for Somalis to send back to their relatives in Somalia. The FBI believes Al-Barakaat skimmed tens of millions of dollars off of the proceeds of these two activities, and funneled it directly to Al Qaeda.

According to the testimony provided by New York City detectives to a U.S. Senate subcommittee in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, corporate America has been victimized by precisely the same dynamic with coupon fraud, unwittingly funding terrorism by as much as $125 million annually.

Financial relationships of trust -- applications for public assistance that require the truthful disclosure of income information, a store's capacity to deposit for payment only those food stamps that have actually been exchanged for food or coupons that have been presented in connection with the actual sale of a consumer item -- are often completely alien to new immigrants. Many new immigrants have told me that they simply cannot believe that the government trusts them to honestly provide their income information on a food stamp application.

America is entirely too loose with its money, and its new immigrants know it. As recent raids and prosecutions have shown, greater oversight of programs like the one that makes food stamps readily available to new immigrants is crucial. A week after I told Shihad that I'd filed to withdraw from his case, he returned to get a copy of his file. He'd been able to sell the food stamps, he told me, and had received enough to retain a new lawyer.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alienripoffscams; foodstampfraud; govtscofflaws; immivasion; reconquista
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CLOSE THE BORDERS NOW!!!! Also, time to abolish or restrict food stamps.
1 posted on 11/28/2002 11:02:49 AM PST by Sparta
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To: Sparta
Never mind that the food stamp was invented to prevent public assistance, formerly given in cash, from being frittered away on non-food items.

Is this what is known as an "unintended consequence"?

2 posted on 11/28/2002 11:10:39 AM PST by Texas Eagle
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To: Sparta
It's a crime. "Shihad," I said, "I'm withdrawing. You're trying to pay me with the proceeds of a crime."

Oh Puleeze! Since when did the legal profession have an actual repugnance about being paid with the proceeds of a crime? This article on immigrant lawlessness may be otherwise factual, but I find the quoted statement of the attorney / author to be fantasy.

The lawyer took the money anyway. He just told "Shihad" not to inform the attorney of the money's origin.

3 posted on 11/28/2002 11:24:06 AM PST by elbucko
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To: Sparta
Its not just illegals that commit foodstamp fraud...
4 posted on 11/28/2002 11:26:54 AM PST by marajade
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To: madfly; Drill Alaska; Sabertooth
5 posted on 11/28/2002 11:31:29 AM PST by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
I think anyone with with two healthy arms and 2 healthy legs should not be able to recieve food stamps.
6 posted on 11/28/2002 12:05:53 PM PST by mgist
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To: Sparta; Thinkin' Gal; ex-Texan; RLK
 Small Scams Probed for Terror Ties - (WP)

 Small Scams Probed for Terror Ties - (FR)

 The Great Somali Welfare Hunt

 Somalis accuse Lewiston mayor of racism, bigotry

7 posted on 11/28/2002 12:35:29 PM PST by 2sheep
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To: 2sheep
We are financing our invasion and ultimate destruction.
8 posted on 11/28/2002 1:05:26 PM PST by RLK
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Globalists are satanists who worship Allah.
9 posted on 11/28/2002 1:08:29 PM PST by 2sheep
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To: Sparta
How much money is lost each year to food stamp fraud? About $30 million, according to the best estimate provided by the Washington Department of Social and Health Services.

This figure of $30 million sounds accurate if we are simply talking about the state of Washington. This figure sounds way too low to be how much money goes to fraudulent use of food stamps across the country.

BTW, I am for controlled immigration and having open borders for commerce between US citizens and people abroad with which they want to do business. I am against mass immigration of people from third world countries who come here and get handouts from the state. If you want to come to the US, you should show that you have skills to get a job and/or have sponsors (like family members) who will support you if don't make it economically right away. No immigrant should be given social welfare of any kind. The US needs immigrants for a growing population and economic growth and development. That being said, the US should encourage countries around the world to reform their governments such that peoples around the world can thrive in their native lands, then there would be much less pressure on developed countries like the US to take on welfare-needing immigrants who come here and steal from American taxpayers.

We need to deal with the politicians and bureaucrats who let this kind of thing happen too. Tar and feathers?

10 posted on 11/28/2002 1:12:01 PM PST by citizenK
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: Sparta
Hell thats not news they just learned fraud off the people who defraud this country for years on the foodstamp program ive seen it firsthand and reported it and NOTHING is ever done about it and the people who do it have arrogantly bragged about it like it was a prize to rip off everyone else
12 posted on 11/28/2002 1:16:29 PM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK
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To: citizenK
We need to deal with the politicians and bureaucrats who let this kind of thing happen too. Tar and feathers?

Not exactly what I had in mind, but it'll have to do.
13 posted on 11/28/2002 1:20:14 PM PST by Sparta
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To: Sparta
Those aren't food stamps. They're tickets for the Gravy Train.
14 posted on 11/28/2002 1:21:28 PM PST by IronJack
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To: Texas Eagle; Sparta
I can't help it, but every time I see Somalis in the grocery store (never even trying to speak english) I get visions of that poor young Marine dragged thru their filthy streets. Why in the world are these people on American soil?
15 posted on 11/28/2002 1:48:40 PM PST by holyscroller
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To: citizenK
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush gave the go-ahead Wednesday for Mexican trucks to travel U.S. roads beyond commercial border zones where they have been restricted while inspection sites and new regulations were put in place.
Carlos Olemedo of the National Council of Mexican Professionals (?) was on O'Reilly Factor squaring off against Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo on the administrations plan to push amnesty for illegal aliens from Mexico. Olemedo was presenting the tired argument that the illegals are economically necessary and that rounding up and deporting millions of them would be inhumane.

Well, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the illegal aliens and the politicians whining about not having enough money, continually wanting to raise our taxes as a solution to the budget problems. Washington is sending feelers out to see if we will riot over an amnesty.

This just might be a solution. See if you like it.

Educate a couple of hundred young energetic people to an idea like this one. Youngsters who feel American Patriotism is a finer character asset than national Diversity is. Yes, us patriots do obey the laws.

Then these young people would need to go face to face with the residents of your lightly populated rural county and explaining how it would work and benefit them, their kids, and their grandkids. Have a website that would explain just why this is being done. Explain the costs to each individual community because of the illegal alien residency and immigration.

It is obvious that INS and the State Dept are corrupt. Attempting to correct the corruption is the wrong way to fix the problem. Rounding up the illegals and removing them will fix the problem!!!

Get your local population educated to the idea of electing a Sheriff who will go face to face with the Federal government. He is going to need legal advice on how to do all of this. Ideally you would want local attorneys or judges to provide this advice. Hey, before you run off...the local attorneys and judges have kids and grandkids too.

Sheriffs are the top LEO in each County. They have the authority to demand that the Feds call ahead and ask to come into your County to enforce Federal laws. Check your State Constitution if you don't believe me.

Now getting the Sheriff and County officials to go along with it, is of course another subject. Just maybe you might be able to find someone who thinks as I do, that illegal aliens are parasites in America, and they would also spread the idea amongst the citizens of your County. Then the citizens could write a petition to force the Council and Sheriff to follow their instructions.

If you have a Sheriff and local County officials of a lightly populated County with a budget deficit and the abnormal high taxes who will declare that all illegal aliens from every nation will be arrested and removed from the County in 30, 60 or 90 days the program is on it's way.

All assets not removed from the County must be assigned by the illegal alien to be sold with registered agents or they will be seized by the Sheriff and sold. These funds will be divided between the Sheriffs Office and the County budget offices for expenses.

All people employing illegal aliens will also be arrested and fined. Perhaps $5000 per employee. This would prompt employers to demand that their employees bring in birth certificates, etc. I think there is a federal law forbidding this, I'm not sure. But so what? If they won't protect America then we must do it. This also keeps the government out of our personal records any more than necessary.

The hiring of non citizens that have entered the US legally with the legal assistance of Immigration and Naturalization Services will of course be encouraged. Only the hiring of illegal aliens will be reason for arrest and stiff fines. It is already against the law to hire an illegal alien. These people have already broken too many of our laws for us to continue to turn our heads.

Perhaps ads could be placed in the newspapers of the surrounding counties to obtain legal workers for the farm, ranch, gas station and local K-Mart to replace the ones who are leaving. A local 800 number could be updated daily with jobs available in your County.

All people giving aid or care to illegal aliens would also be arrested and fined. This would include all illegal aliens who are family members of legal aliens. I would imagine this would gather up quite a few people who have overstayed their visitors pass.

This will result in no or very few illegal aliens going to the local hospitals for medical attention. The hospital will start making money again instead of heading into bankruptcy. Just imagine what the result would be if prices dropped!

This will also bring welfare for illegal aliens to a screeching halt. This alone will do much for your local budget, maintaining or even drop taxes.

School districts would require much less money because the new residents in the county would certainly be more able to speak English. I think schools already check for birth certificates and medical history. (This maybe a good place for the sheriff to start.)

Imagine what that would do to surrounding Counties with similar budget deficits. Would the residents agree to more taxes or would they say get the lawbreakers out of here?

Do you think it might convince the State officials when enough Counties have adopted these measures that we citizens are serious in our desire to protect our communities from being over run by illegal aliens? Would this prompt them to follow our guidance and issue state laws that demand law enforcement agencies to enforce ALL the laws or their budgets get cut?

I think half a dozen community residents that are involved in the legal system and the business community could work out what to do to make an idea similar to this work in your community.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----

For the legal minded folks I have included a statement from one of the cases that made it through the Supreme Court. Unless there are State laws forbidding such actions as I have suggested, I think everything legally is above the table. A local judge could give the Sheriff advice on how to handle the little tweak of the laws.

The federal Gov't may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command State' officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty.

Justice Antonin Scalia, Mack vs US., June 27, 1997

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The way I see it is that given the opportunity and enough notice to move their families safely, the illegal aliens would pack up and leave rather than fight a Sheriff who is broadcasting that just because the Feds aren't going to enforce the immigration laws doesn't mean he isn't.

Employers would rather make a company policy that all employees must prove that they are American citizens or in the United States legally than be fined $5000 per employee for supporting open border policy.

Give employers a chance to advertise for critical employees who are currently illegal aliens so their businesses don't suffer a drastic skill shortage.

Just as an add on, I imagine that the local crime rates would be continually dropping until it again reached an acceptable level.

Surrounding rural counties would surely catch on quickly to the benefits and start similar programs. All it would take is one newspaper article about their city council needing money for some more public services. There is much more rural county land in the US than cities in county land, that's why I am promoting a rural county to start with.

The residents are more apt to be on a handshake basis with their elected official than residents of large cities are. I think that it wouldn't take too long before cities would simply not be able to afford to support all the illegals who are on taxpayer paid benefits. Consequently, like it or not they would have to fall in line.

I have no idea how fast an idea such as this would spread and actually take firm hold causing neighboring state legislators to look at the idea BEFORE their state was swamped with illegal aliens and the taxpayers rose up demanding immediate solutions. The crime rate amongst illegals is very high as it is. A plan such a this could send it through the ceiling, so caution would be advised on initiating it in a city. Vandalism and riots would probably occur in some areas, so the Governor would need to be ready with the State National Guard Units.

This could be dangerous because it could foster hate and anger. Too much anger would result in radicals bringing out their guns chasing the illegals out of their neighborhoods. We have seen gang wars and the resulting violence, this could be worse. So, it will have to be a slow, calm, well organized plan in each county!

Our intention is to bring the population of our neighborhoods into patriotic, law abiding folks not to be ravaged by foreigners who have nowhere to go. Eventually, I can see where states would have to cough up the funds and or transportation for the people to get back to Norway, Brazil, Australia, Japan and China.

The first States to do this emigration plan will encounter the least expenses. Of course I would expect it to happen, if it ever does, in Western States.

If we continue to allow to let the Feds handle it, they will continue to dilly dally around like they been doing and the problem will never be solved. So, the way I see this, the STATES are going to have to stand up after too many years on our knees to the self promoting, egotistical big shots in the Federal Legislature and the Federal Agencies. We need to show them that we'll fix the problem ourselves. Imagine if our citizens brought a halt to Agenda 21, that would set the United Nations on its rear end!!

Notice the direction of travel in this definition.


\Em`i*gra"tion\, n. [L. emigratio: cf. F. ['e]migration.] 1. The act of emigrating; removal from one country or state to another, for the purpose of residence, as from Europe to America, or, in America, from the Atlantic States to the Western.*

Lets change the worlds idea of where to emigrate from and to! We have given education and work experience to millions of illegal aliens. Now lets give them a chance to see if they can do it for themselves back home!!!

If you think this might work, phone some local friends to see what they think of it.

Why not email other friends with this idea and see if we can't get it started. Of course there will surely need to be modifications to initialize it and perhaps different ideas to promote it. Each County is slightly different and we don't want extreme radicals promoting it or else it will surely sink into oblivion.

Here's another piece to look at.

16 posted on 11/28/2002 5:02:52 PM PST by B4Ranch
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To: holyscroller
"Why in the world are these people on American soil?

We need more Muslim criminals that hate us to meet our United Nation's quota.

17 posted on 11/28/2002 5:48:57 PM PST by 4Freedom
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To: B4Ranch; Sparta
It's an interesting idea to take the problem to the county level and having sheriff's protect the interests of their smaller constituencies and the country. Highlighted in your post is the problem of corruption of the INS - I totally agree with this point and think that the INS needs to be completely dissolved. There is no fixing the corruption therein, an organization that allows the release of Malvo type criminals to prey upon our society while they go after sympathetic types like the British widow of a 9/11 WTC victim with full vigor, or while they refuse to expedite the reunification of an 11 year old girl with her parents in the States (who has every right to be here in the US with her Russian mother and American step-father) as highlighted on the O'Reilley Factor.

But as for corruption, sheriff's across the country are notorious for their corruption, and many are corrupted by the federal drug wars and are more concerned about reaping the benefits of their relationships with the DEA and state and federal pols than they are in dealing with immigration. That being said, some localities may find your idea a viable option - and like you said, likely the counties in the West that have the greatest problems with illegal immigrants from Mexico and other parts of Latin America.

I have lived and worked on the US-Canada border my entire life. Those of us living on the nothern border have a much different perspective on border issues, and frankly, we cringe at the idea of militarizing the US borders and what that would entail for our lives. People up here, on both sides of the border, regularly cross for business, shopping, recreation, sporting events, cultural events and festivals, music concerts, theater productions, and many people living up here have family that extend across the border. The recent incident on the Maine-Quebec border, in my view, typifies the problem of having the federal government step up its efforts to look tough on border issues. They step in, exert authority in a Draconian fashion, and take no account of local context nor the urgency that particular problems demand. If you don't recall, the recent incident up in Maine-Quebec involved the detention of a man who crossed the border to fill his gas tank without checking into customs first. Well, the customs check point was closed, and in the town where this took place, the gas station is in the US, but the driveway to enter the gas station is in Canada. So the Feds hold a French Canadian who lives on the border for a month because he bought a tank of gas, meanwhile they pass out 105 visas to people who are on the terror watch list? OMG!!

The point is, things on the northern border are qualitatively different than they are in the south, and even on the nothern border, things are different between east and west. So, you're idea concerning the use of local law enforcement to deal with immigration problems is a good one. Sheriffs, being locally elected, are far more likely to enforce laws and enact policies favorable to their local constituencies (corruption and ties to the feds, as mentioned above, aside).

Folks on the nothern border, however, are not immune, nor do we turn a deaf ear to the problems our countrymen in the south and west face with respect to illegal immigration. The state of New York has funding set aside to educate the children of illegal aliens even for college! It is absolutely crazy for politicians to not only ignore the enforcement of immigration laws, but they enact other laws and programs that actually encourage people to illegally enter and stay in the country. When I call my local pharmacy, I have to press "1" to hear the message in English! Of course, the pharmacy is a private business, so they can talk on the phone in any language they want (or should be able to), but when the state pays a lot of money to provide bilingual services, we all suffer because it raises the price of government and works to erode the cohesiveness that English being the lingua franca of our culture serves to promote. Jimminy Crickets! In Brazil, another country made up almost entirely of immigrant groups, you cannot even be a school teacher unless you are a native born Brazilian - this is an effort to promote the unique Brazilian culture that folks down there are afraid would dissolve into a quagmire if it becomes too fragmented by immigrant groups doing their own thing. Here in the US we have politicians and educators not only teacing tolerance of other cultures (ok, fine, we should all respect individuals for who they are, regardless of background) but they teach and promote the value of other cultures at the expense of and by ignoring the very existance of our own unique American culture.

I could go on and on, but will stop for now. If anything is to be gleaned from my mini-rant here, it's that the problem of immigration and border control is more complicated than many people view it. Again, this makes local control and enforcement of immigration vis-a-vis the sheriffs an idea worth considering for many communities. Unfortunately, there are many cultural, political, and governmental issues which influence the problems related to both legal and illegal immigration, and the security of our borders if we are to continue, at least with the facade, that we live in a free country.
18 posted on 11/28/2002 6:39:20 PM PST by citizenK
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To: All
Somalis are incredible welfare suckers. We just had the pleasure of having over a thousand suddenly descend on our sleepy little town. Since their arrival, they have doubled the city's welfare budget. They are receiving subsidized rent, free money from the gov't, food stamps, free medical care....the list goes on. Then they threatened an investigation into city funds when people started complaining (which they had every right to, the city funds the welfare budget largely from property taxes). They actually did get a lawsuit in on my town's failure to provide them with adequate English services. The city is fighting it, of course. The Somalis aren't learning English because they don't want to, not because the programs are not good enough.

They moved here from Georgia to take advantage of more generous welfare benefits. A lot of the households are one mother with a ton of kids. The dads stay in Georgia or another state, working and sending money. The moms send some of their welfare money to the dads. FYI if the dad is absent, the mom qualifies for more services. So there is a cute little welfare scam, reported in the papers, that no one will touch out of PC paranoia.
19 posted on 11/28/2002 8:13:05 PM PST by Morrigan
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To: Sparta
[i]How much money is lost each year to food stamp fraud? About $30 million, according to the best estimate provided by the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. [/i]

Only $30 million??? I'd honestly guess thats its at least more like $600 Million. That $30 Million sounds like a pittance and a drop in the bucket imho.

20 posted on 11/28/2002 8:30:53 PM PST by prophetic
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