Posted in: Crime

‘Massive’ Florida Food Stamp Scam Uncovered, Two Arrests Made

florida food stamp scam

A Florida food stamp scam has been uncovered, and a father and son have been arrested for allegedly purchasing EBT cards at a discount to their redeemable value and then using the benefits funds to stock store shelves.

The men arrested in the alleged Florida food stamp scam are Bassam Sale Abu Diab, 55, and son, Matthew Bassam Abu Diab, 22. Investigators say the Diab men would pay 20 or 40 cents on the dollar for the cards, in turn using them at discount stores like Walmart to stock shelves at their own store locations.

Before the Florida food stamp scam was discovered, Bassam Sale Abu Diab was arrested in December for allegedly running a pawn shop out of a convenience store. Daytona Beach Police Chief Michael Chitwood said of the food stamp scam:

“The guys are buying these cards, 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.”

Chitwood also referenced Diab’s previous arrest, saying:

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

Detectives say during the course of the Florida food stamp scam investigation, they discovered $88,000 in EBT card transactions on the store’s register — adding that the Diabs “may have made hundreds of thousands more stocking his shelves with merchandise purchased with EBT cards.”

Daytona Beach police, Daytona Beach Code Enforcement, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Department of Revenue were all involved in the effort to bust the Florida food stamp scam.

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13 Responses to “‘Massive’ Florida Food Stamp Scam Uncovered, Two Arrests Made”

  1. Salvador Rodriguez

    these immigrants do not care one whit about breaking the law. they don't care about this country. revoke their citizenship and depot them.

  2. Ron Paulyes

    “This guy is running a business on the taxpayers back … said Daytona Beach Police Chief Michael Chitwood. what about you chief – who's paying your salary.

  3. Martha Polasek

    Kick their but! s out. We have enough criminals without bringing in more. Every convenience store seems to be managed or owned by middle easten people. Why is this?

  4. Jessica Flippin

    Lets let some more of these F U C K S in that don't care about this country or its laws. All they care about is making enough money to send it outta the country to theirs (the country they really care about). I'm sick of dealing with these people every time I go to a gas station/convenience store. They never smile, never say thank you (probably cuz 95% of the time they are always talking on the phone while they deal with you). Ship em outta here, I'm sick of all these people coming here and getting freebies WHILE they rip us off for even more.

  5. Gina Henry

    Sounds like any other capitalist. WHY are all of you mad at this example? How do you think people in the USA become millionaires like Mitt Romney? They STEAL, LIE, take advantage of people. If this pair is guilty then so are many more that have made much more money than these two did! Individuals make billions off of the government, hedge funds, food brokers that attach exorbitant fees on top of food and send the bill to government. This is food that is supplied to schools, and any other government paid food programs. Food is cheap, these scammers are called businesses. Don't give me your righteous garbage. These guys should go free, they will become millionaires in this country.

  6. Donna Smith Frankart

    what about the lowlifes who sold their food stamps to these guys? jail? no more food stamps ever?

  7. Elizabeth Zeigler

    You are highly uninformed. You are also quite possibly the most transparent gimmie gimmie moocher I have ever seen. PERSONAL responsibility. GET SOME.

  8. Kimberly Shults Smith

    And if you are one of those saying these people have the same rights as citizens then maybe you should go live in their country…and take them back with you when you go.

  9. Enforce Our Laws

    LOS ANGELES COUNTY—With an additional $52 million in welfare payments issued in August to illegal alien parents for their native-born children, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services projects that in 2012 more than $635 million in welfare benefits will be distributed to illegal alien parents, announced Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.
    The more than $52 million consist of nearly $20 million in CalWORKs (welfare) and $33 million in food stamps — representing 22% of all CalWORKs and food stamp issuances in the County. At this rate, the projected annual cost is approximately $635 million.
    “When you add the $550 million for public safety and nearly $500 million for healthcare, the total cost for illegal immigrants to County taxpayers exceeds $1.6 billion dollars a year,” said Antonovich. “These costs do not even include the hundreds of millions of dollars spent annually for education.”.
    Figures from the Los Angeles County Department-August 2012.

  10. Pat Baker

    The government makes it so easy for people with food stamps to do this kind of thing. I bet many of them were willing to sell the food stamps for such a low price because they needed drugs or alcohol.

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