Massive food stamp fraud bust, Florida this time…

If you are a longtime reader, you know that following food stamp fraud cases is a side interest of mine. Go here to my large archive on past cases.  I haven’t written much lately on the topic because reporting on the refugee program is about all I can handle.

There is so much that could be done to stop the fraud including disallowing these ‘mom and pop’ convenience stores from accepting EBT cards.


I continue to urge one of you to write a blog solely on the topic of immigrant fraud such as food stamp fraud and other welfare fraud—a topic that could keep you busy every day and do our country a great service.

And, besides, your blog could be hopping (and fun to write!) because I suspect we will see more crackdowns now that the Justice Department is run by Jeff Sessions.

The type of fraud mentioned here in the Breitbart story (called trafficking) works like this: Customer with SNAP benefits comes in to store wanting cash (for drugs?). Manager or owner pays customer 50 cents on the dollar in cash and then seeks reimbursement from the government (you!) for the full $1 dollar supposedly spent on food.

Here is Breitbart:

Twelve Floridians have been charged with running an alleged $20 million food stamp fraud scheme in one of the “largest” food stamp fraud crackdowns in history, according to the Justice Department.

Federal prosecutors told the Miami Herald that the 12 defendants who reportedly defrauded the federal government of $20 million were charged with food stamp fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The list of those charged include Mohammed Alobaisi, 37; Mohammad Alteen, 33; Joe Ann Baker, 56; Reynold Francois, 38; Omar Hajje, 43; Jalal Hajyousef, 42; Andy Javier Herrera, 24, and his father, Javier Herrera, 49; Ihab Hassouna, 44; Maria Jerdana, 36; Hasan Saleh, 59; and Yousef “Joe” Homedan Zahran, 60.

“In this instance, eight small convenience stores in South Florida committed a staggering amount of fraud in a relatively short amount of time,” said Karen Citizen-Wilcox, special agent in charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of the Inspector General, in a press release.


Store owners and employees who commit food stamp fraud face steep consequences.

Continue here.

No, I would not call a few months in jail “steep consequences.”  And, how does someone pay restitution when they have sent your tax dollars out of the country (which is often the case)?

Tampa, FL women’s support group expands at request from CAIR

Radiant Hands now takes care of Muslim refugees at the request of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

radiant hands

Is this a new model we can expect to see elsewhere?  Usually a US State Department contractor and its local subcontractor are paid to take care of refugees.  Do we now have a cottage industry of non-profit agencies growing up around the primary refugee industry? And, who pays Radiant Hands?

So much for assimilation if there are non-profits (most likely getting taxpayer dollars) that focus exclusively on one ethnic group of people. I wonder what would happen if the Salvation Army said they only wanted to help American-born Christians?

From Tampa Bay Times:

Radiant Hands initially provided individual counseling for women and families. But now 80 percent of the nonprofit’s clientele are Muslim and Arabic-speaking refugees.

Saleh, an Egyptian Muslim raised in the United States, said she never expected to be serving the refugee community, a group she never knew existed. She is also the director at Bayaan Academy Home School Co-op.

Her clientele shifted in August 2015 when CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group that works to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America, asked her to help refugees from Muslim or Arabic-speaking countries.

She got her first family in October and her organization has now taken in and helped 110 refugee families. The newest family came in on Wednesday, she said.

Most refugees are from Afghanistan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Iraq and Syria. Radiant Hands helps the families settle in for up to a year.

Many are either severely ill or have disabilities, Saleh said.

“They’re coming for health and education,” she said. [Technically refugees come because they can prove they are PERSECUTED, not for simply a helping hand, but nobody is following the law anymore!—ed]

The hardest part is getting the refugees to learn English, she said. [Why bother if you aren’t working and are collecting disability?—ed]

A partnership with Lutheran Services Florida helps the refugees find jobs. The CARIBE program, an adult education project funded by the Florida Department of Children and Family Services, offers free English classes and Radiant Hands provides transportation for them, Saleh said.

Are taxpayers paying for any of this?  

If you live in Florida, please do some research and find out if taxpayer dollars are funding ‘Radiant Hands’.   Just as I was wrapping up I came across their facebook page and information on a program they did in January—family safety, okay.

I was thinking maybe a program on turning off the stove before leaving the house, or keeping your smoke detectors in good working order. NO! the “safety program” is described as this (WTH!):

Radiant Hands hosted a Family Safety Seminar on January 9, 2016 which addressed numerous safety issues in our local Muslim community.

The first part of the seminar addressed Islamophobia and featured presentations from CAIR and a law enforcement representative. The topics ranged from how to cope with Islamophobia from a legal standpoint from CAIR staff, as well as practical tips from a retired correctional officer, whose expertise stems from experience after the September 11, 2001 tragedy in New York.

After Part I of the seminar there was a martial arts demonstration and lunch was served.

Sheesh! Was taxpayer money used for this?

Florida: Syrian community leader says the state will get 1,000-2,000 Syrians this year; need mental health care

He is guessing on the numbers and basing it on the fact that Florida is one of the top states receiving mostly Muslim Syrians so far. We listed the Top Ten states here.  And, we listed all the cities receiving Syrians (so far) here.

Dr. Doured Daghistani says the Syrians will “beef up” the diversity of South Florida.

This is from WLRN (Miami) (I sure hope there are a lot of mental health dollars available in Florida!):

According to the State Department, the six states that have housed the most Syrian refugees so far are Texas, California, Michigan, Illinois, Arizona and Florida.

Dr. Doured Daghistani, a pediatric oncologist and board member of the Syrian American Council of South Florida, says the culture shock endured by Syrian refugees arriving here is unlike any other immigrant experience.

“They’re coming with a big psycho-social burden on them,” said Daghistani.


Last month, President Obama said his administration is preparing to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming budget year. Daghistani said he expects 10-20% of the refugees to relocate to Florida and at least 10% to South Florida.

Recent polls show a majority of Americans are opposed to Obama’s plan, with most believing it poses a threat to national security.


“I think bringing the Syrian refugees here will help the humanitarian issues and will beef up the diversity of South Florida,” Daghistani said.

Syrian American Council of South Florida facebook page is here.

What you can do!

I urge all of you in Florida to visit my post yesterday and contact your state’s resettlement agencies.  You will be asking for a schedule of upcoming “quarterly consultations” and the “FY2016 Abstract” for your city.  Report to me what you find out!

Meeting tomorrow in Orlando

Although not Southern Florida, a reader yesterday told me about a meeting TOMORROW in Orlando.  If you are in the area please attend!

Orlando Area Refugee Task Force Meeting

Event Type:

Public Meeting


Wednesday, October 14, 2015 – 10:00 to 12:00


Florida Department of Transportation
133 S. Semoran Blvd
Orlando Florida 32807
United States

The purpose of this meeting is to increase awareness of the refugee populations, share best practices, spot trends in refugee populations, build collaborations between agencies, help create good communication among service providers, get informed about upcoming community events, and discuss refugee program service needs and possible solutions to meeting those needs.

I’ve been told that the Florida Dept of Children and Families has other PUBLIC meetings on refugees as well, so Floridians need to find out how to be notified of upcoming opportunities around the state.

Cubans speeding up arrival in US, fear possible change in law

Getting away from Muslim migrants for a moment, we have a story this morning about how federal refugee resettlement contractor (one of the big nine***), Church World Service, helps Cubans who are ECONOMIC migrants, not refugees, get settled in America.

Miguel Laguna, a caseworker at Church World Service, a refugee resettlement agency, runs an orientation class about life in the US for a newly arrived Cuban family. Credit: Monica Campbell

I’ve been wondering lately what Obama’s change in US/Cuban relations will have on the thousands and thousands of Cubans still arriving in the US under that ridiculous “wet foot, dry foot” policy.

If we normalize relations with Cuba, why would there be any “refugees” coming here?  Or, will his policy simply open the pipeline completely for one and all to fly right in?

A refugee by definition is escaping persecution.  People wanting a job and social services are economic migrants and not eligible for refugee status (unless you are Cuban of course).

They are coming here for American jobs!  Remember! Your tax dollars pay for most of the services of Church World Service!  See how much here.

Here is the story from (emphasis below is mine):

Forget for a second that you live in the United States, that you know its laws, know English, know what a Social Security number is, let alone worrying about having one.

Now imagine that’s the wave of information you are trying to absorb, quickly, in a small conference room in Miami. That’s exactly what happens to some families when they arrive in the United States.

Miguel Laguna helps guide them through the bewildering process. He’s a caseworker at Church World Service, a refugee resettlement agency with an office in the Miami area. Most of the Miami office’s clients are Cubans. [Miami office website is here–ed]

Laguna goes over with the family how to take the bus, apply for citizenship and where to study English. It’s a lot to take in.


Ramos sits with his wife, Ailén, and his son, also named Ismael. The family tells me it took two days and two nights in a small boat to reach Florida. They got lost in the Gulf of Mexico, but eventually made it. “The GPS broke, so we didn’t know where we were for a while,” Ailén says.

They say they left Cuba because there’s no work there. Ailén says she was a gym teacher making $12 a month, a pretty typical salary in Cuba. The family thought of leaving for years, but sped up their plans for fear that the United States’ unique and controversial “wet foot, dry foot” policy might disappear.

That policy says that Cuban migrants who make it to shore — “dry foot” — won’t be sent back, and will essentially be granted US residency after a year and one day in this country. The original intent was to drain the best and brightest from communist Cuba by dangling US visas, so some Cubans worry that better US-Cuba relations will lead to a change in policy.

Only Congress can make changes to “wet foot, dry foot,” and that could take a while. But the rumors that the policy might disappear persist in Cuba, and a rising number of people are leaving the island for the US on boats or, in some cases, by land through Latin America.


Laguna does note that this family has an advantage: They have relatives living in Miami. For Cuban refugees who arrive alone, there’s a lot of uncertainty.


I ask them why they left Cuba. They all say similar thing: “the economy,” “jobs,” “no work.”

It’s an answer that fuels a growing argument: Why treat Cubans differently than Guatemalans who flee gangs and poverty? What about Mexicans wanting to send money back to their relatives back home, or people fleeing war and repression elsewhere who must petition for asylum in the United States? Why give Cubans a special pass?

Of course what they are working up to is not changing the fact that Cubans get a pass with special treatment, but they want every other person in the world who needs a job or is fleeing crime to get the same pass without that messy business of applying for asylum!

By the way, we make 20,000 slots available every year IN CUBA for truly persecuted people, they don’t have to take risky voyages!  Those taking the risky trip are job seekers—economic migrants!

It was Church World Service’s role in the county where I live that is responsible for the birth of this blog.

*** For new readers, these are the nine major federal resettlement contractors:


So the “children” aren’t causing a financial crisis for refugee program after all!

Isn’t this just amazing!  Only a few short months ago Obama and his gang of thieves were poor-mouthing to Congress and the media about how the ‘Unaccompanied alien children’ streaming across our southern border were going to cause the refugee program to suffer (contractors might even have to lay off employees!) and as a consequence they wanted Congress to grant them billions!  Here is just one post of several we wrote—moaning in Minnesota.

Refugee eats first carrot! I guess carrot-tasting classes will be back up and running in Washington state now.

And, isn’t it just amazing that as soon as Obama put off the amnesty debate until after the November election, the ‘childrens’ pipeline has magically stopped flowing.  I hope one day we will get the whole truth about who opened the spigot in the first place!

Here is AP at The Republic (hat tip:  Joanne):

MIAMI — Groups that provide refugee services across the United States expressed relief Thursday after the federal government announced the release of $71.5 million it had reprogrammed in June to deal with the thousands of unaccompanied minors who crossed the border this year.

The Department of Health and Human Services told the states on Thursday that the money would be released because the flow of migrants had fallen.

Health and Human Services Spokesman Kenneth Wolfe said the funds were released on Sept. 15, adding there were no immediate plans to withhold funds in 2015. Originally HHS had said in June that more than $90 million would be withheld as the agency dealt with a crisis involving minors streaming over the border from Mexico. Unaccompanied children who migrate to the United States also fall under the auspices of the federal refugee office.

That number was slightly reduced later to $71.5 million, but groups across the country still scrambled to scale back programs such as English language classes, job counseling and tutoring.

“Today’s announcement ensures refugees who live in Florida will get the services they need to become self-sufficient and thrive in their new communities,” said Hiram Ruiz, who heads up Florida’s refugee services.

The funds are distributed to all 50 states with the bulk of the money going to Florida, California, Texas, New York, Michigan and Minnesota.*

All of our coverage of ‘unaccompanied minors’ is here.

* The top ten states receiving refugees in 2014 (so far) are here.  Minnesota is not in the top ten.


Florida charities raking in the payola for ‘unaccompanied alien children’ care

I’m delighted to report that there is yet one more group digging into the financial documents of groups (like Catholic Charities) claiming to be not-for-profit charitable organizations but instead are living off the taxpayer’s dime.

Here is (hat tip: Brad):

Rochelle Tatrai-Ray is CEO of Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services, a $35 million dollar a year charity caring for the “children” in Florida.

MIAMI — Florida nonprofits have taken in more than 3,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America who illegally crossed the southern border, but those organizations are being paid handsomely by taxpayers for their charity.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Tracking Accountability in Government Grants System, or TAGGS, reports Florida nonprofits have received $21 million thus far in 2014 to care for the children who came with a wave of illegals earlier this year.

His House Children’s Home in Miami, a nonprofit providing residential care for abused, abandoned and neglected children, received the lion’s share of that cash, about $10 million, nearly double what they got last year.

Catholics Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami received more than $4.3 million to care for 300 border children. Millions more went to The Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services Inc. in Pinellas County, Neighbor to Family in Volusia County, Sandy Pines Hospital in Palm Beach County and The Children`s Home Inc. in Hillsborough. For many of those groups, it was the first time they received federal grant money.

Read it all.

Florida Watchdog wanted to know how the money was being spent and if anyone was monitoring it. (We have been told over the years that there are no financial audits done of federal ‘refugee’ contractors.)  Florida Watchdog didn’t have much luck, but pointed readers to one group in Florida—The Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services—which breached a contract with the county when it turned a disabled senior center into a home for Central American boys.

See Gulf Coast Jewish and Family Services recent Form 990 here. (Their annual income that year was $28 million not the $35 cited in the bizjournal.)  The CEO makes over $200,000 annually and the organization received over $10 million in government grants.

Gulf Coast Jewish and Family Services is a subcontractor of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, one of the federal government’s top nine refugee resettlement contractors which monopolize migrant resettlement in the US.

The federal migrant resettlement contractors which we have followed for years:

All of our coverage of the ‘unaccompanied minors’ boondoggle can be found here.

West Palm Beach, FL food stamp fraud: Lebanese brothers rip-off US taxpayers for millions

We haven’t written much about food stamp fraud lately.  Longtime readers know that it has been a ‘hobby’ of mine to follow immigrants scamming our Department of Agriculture not for little stuff, but for the big bucks reaped from trafficking in food stamps.

I’m posting this case, because it’s big, because they sent millions to Lebanon, and because we have so many new readers who may not know about this side interest here at RRW.  And, because I am sick of writing about the “chiiildruun!”

The article tells us that those taxpayer dollars sent out of the country are gone forever.  The two, presumably Muslim men, were ordered to pay restitution after their release from prison, but of course, that is a joke.

Most of the food stamp fraud cases we see are (and will be) posted at the facebook page:  Diversity’s Dark Side.

EBT Nation! Our go-to graphic when photos of the crooks are not available!

 From the Palm Beach Post:


Two Palm Beach County brothers who funneled millions in federal food stamp money back to their native Lebanon were sentenced to nearly six years in prison Thursday for scamming the program that is intended to feed the poor.

With engineering degrees from top universities, Ali Jaber, 52, and his 42-year-old brother, Hadi, could have become role models for fellow immigrants, prosecutor Carolyn Bell told U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks. Instead, they used their store, Fajita’s Meat & Fish on 10th Avenue North, to defraud the federal government.

Even their attorneys acknowledged that the two should have known better than to get involved in the scam. Instead of charging customers’ debit-style food stamp cards for groceries, the brothers gave the customers cash. They charged customers as much as 50 percent commission for the service and were reimbursed by the government for the bogus transactions.

“He should have known better at his age and with his education,” said attorney Fred Haddad, who represents Ali Jaber, who has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.


Most of the money was sent to banks in Beirut, Lebanon, where the Jabers have relatives, according to court documents. That money, government officials say, is impossible to retrieve.


If you suspect food stamp fraud in your local immigrant-run convenience store, you can report your suspicions here (That post is nearly a year old, so hope the phone numbers are still good!).  This West Palm Beach investigation got underway thanks to a Grandma’s tip!   Note that those who sold their benefits were also arrested!

Our entire food stamp fraud archive (going back at least 6 years is here).   Some wannabe blogger should really create a whole blog on immigrant-run convenience store food stamp fraud.  You would have hot news to post everyday!   And, I truly believe there is training abroad to teach would-be scammers how to buy convenience stores/mom & pop gas stations in the US, get in the country legally, and set up the fraud.  We are such suckers!

Tell Rush about this, doesn’t he live around here?