CLEVELAND, Ohio– Three men from Brook Park were indicted for allegedly defrauding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the Food Stamp Program) of $2 million.
Authorities said Saed (Sam) Wahdan, 41, his brother, Maher (Mario) Wahdan, 42, and Nidal Jaber, 45, were each indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud, one count of food stamp fraud and two counts of unlawful redemption of food stamps.
They said Maher Wahdan faces an additional count of theft of public funds.
The indictment alleges that the men conspired to commit food stamp fraud through four of their businesses: One Stop Beverage, Bridge Deli and Beverage, Franklin Beverage and Deli and Scott Food Mart.
Authorities said the Wahdans owned and operated all four stores, but put them in the names of other people to hide the fact that Saed Wahdan had a prior conviction for food stamp trafficking and Maher Wahdan had a prior conviction for impersonating an officer.
The defendants are accused of using their businesses to exchange customer food stamps for cash and other items, like beer and cigarettes.
They are also accused of purchasing food stamp cards from customers and using them at other grocery locations to purchase inventory for their stores and for their personal use, according to the indictment.