Two Philadelphia men have been indicted for allegedly submitting as much as $1.1 million in fraudulent food stamp reimbursements to the federal government.
Prosecutors say the two, a Franklinville food store owner and a Germantown Avenue street vendor, bilked the government by trafficking Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
Abdoulaye Diallo, owner of Brothers Food Market at 3516 Germantown Ave., and Lassana Nianghane, who sold purses on the sidewalk, illegally bought SNAP benefits for cash from beneficiaries of the U.S. Department of Agriculture program, according to an indictment filed in federal court in Philadelphia and unsealed Friday.
Diallo, 50, would then submit fraudulent SNAP reimbursements on behalf of his store to the Department of Agriculture, according to prosecutors.
In total, officials said, Diallo submitted about $1.1 million in SNAP reimbursements between June 2011 and May 2014.
When Diallo applied to become a SNAP merchant in 2006, he told the government he expected to sell just about $151,800 in SNAP-approved products each year.
Nianghane, 51, acted as the contact person for SNAP beneficiaries who wanted to illegally sell their benefits for cash, the indictment says.
The document says Nianghane would discuss proposed sales with Diallo, who would check the funds available on the seller's EBT card. The card holder would get up to half of the balance in cash, while Diallo and Nianghane would keep the other half as profit, according to the indictment.
They then prepared submitted fraudulent SNAP transactions to the federal government for reimbursement, prosecutors said.
The indictment details multiple such transactions involving undercover investigators and cooperating witnesses.
The two were indicted on charges that include conspiracy, wire fraud and unlawful use of SNAP benefits.