Kansas store owners accused of defrauding federal program

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – Owners of a Kansas City, Kansas, store have pleaded guilty to defrauding a federal food stamp program out of more than $227,000.

The U.S. Attorney for Kansas said in a release Wednesday that 39-year-old Saima Sajjad, of Kansas City, Missouri, pleaded guilty to wire fraud. Her husband, 47-year-old Sajjad S. Chaudhry, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of Agriculture, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Their store came under investigation in 2013 because it reported thousands of dollars in transactions in a federal food stamp program.

Investigators found they had been exchanging benefits for cash, giving about 50 percent of the value of the food stamp benefits. Chaudhry also admitted using another person’s electronic benefits card to buy food.

Sentencing is Aug. 25.

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