Federal court in New York last week sentenced two Gambian immigrants for conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud. Ebrima Krubally and Alieu Jaiteh who both live in Syracuse were sentenced to 48 and 18 months, respectively, according to US Attorney’s Office.
The sentencing followed the duo’s guilty plea to the federal charges. US District Judge Glenn Suddaby ordered them to pay a restitution of over $1.7 million dollars. As a result of this conviction and other immigration violations, Mr. Jaiteh is facing possible deportation to The Gambia.
Krubally is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Gambia who had been employed as an engineer by the New York Department of Transportation. Mr. Krubally also owned and operated Mama’s Imports in New York. Jaiteh is a former employee of Krubally’s food store.
Between 2009 and 2012, Krubally and Jaiteh conspired to commit more than $1.7 million of fraud by accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit coupons, in exchange for a discounted amount of cash or non-food items. The items – exchanged for food stamp benefits – include clothing, cellular phones and DVDs, the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed.
According to federal regulations, SNAP benefits cannot be exchanged for cash or non-food items. They can be used to purchased food in approved retail stores. The benefit is meant for low income or no income households in the United States.