NJ couple who scammed $4.66M from food stamps program heads to prison
A Wayne couple is prison-bound for stealing more than four-and-a-half-million dollars in a food stamps fraud scheme, according to federal prosecutors.
Ibrahim Zughbi, 67, was sentenced to just under four years while his 63-year-old wife, Miriam Zughbi was handed a two-year prison term on Tuesday in Trenton federal court.
In addition to prison, a judge has ordered them to pay back the millions they ripped off, exchanging Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for cash and then writing checks to launder the money, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig announced.
Between 2014 and January 2018, the Zughbis owned and worked at Jamaica Meat Market, a grocery store in Paterson that was authorized to accept SNAP benefits, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.
The Zughbis would ring up fake purchases, handing over cash to a SNAP account holder while pocketing more than 30% of the proceeds, according to federal court documents.
Ibrahim Zughbi previously pleaded guilty to SNAP benefit fraud and money laundering, while Miriam Zughbi previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S.