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St. Petersburg clerk convicted of cheating food stamps program

A St. Petersburg clerk was found guilty Wednesday of helping cheat the federal food stamps program out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A federal jury convicted Isam Nasser, who worked at Hungry Baba in St. Petersburg, of conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud and food stamp fraud, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Thursday. Nasser, 30, will be sentenced in July.

His charges carry a maximum sentence of 110 years because each of his five counts of wire fraud can bring a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Nasser and store owner Mehdi Babul ran the food stamp scam from November 2008 to April 2010, the U.S. Attorney's Office stated. They gave customers cash for their food stamps for half their value. The two are thought to have cost the government $350,000.

Several law enforcement agencies, including the St. Petersburg Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service, investigated the case. Babul pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud in March, federal prosecutors stated.

St. Petersburg clerk convicted of cheating food stamps program 05/02/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 3, 2013 12:02am]
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