Was the money he collected from this scam going to Palestinian Islamic Jihad? “Grocer pleads guilty in food-stamp fraud,” from the Chicago Tribune, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
CHICAGO — A 33-year-old man facing charges in Florida of funding the Palestinian terrorist group Islamic Jihad pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to illegally exchanging cash for food stamps at his West Side grocery store.
Hatem Fariz, of Spring Hill, Fla., admitted that from May 1999 to December 2000 he fraudulently redeemed more than $1.6 million from the Link program.
Fariz would let customers swipe their food-stamp cards for specific amounts of money and then pay them back a lesser amount in cash. He would then collect the difference.
Fariz, who formerly led a Chicago mosque, moved to Florida, where he was arrested for funding Islamic Jihad. At trial last year, a jury acquitted him of several terror-related charges but didn’t reach a verdict on eight counts. He is free on $1.1 million bail.
For admitting fraud and money laundering in Chicago, he faces up to 3 years, 5 months in prison.