Report: Millions in Food Stamp Dollars Flowed to Terrorists
Millions of taxpayers dollars trafficked through food stamp fraud went to terrorists who funded their activities at home and abroad, according to an explosive report from the Government Accountability Institute (GAI).
The report from GAI, where Breitbart NewsSenior-Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer serves as president, highlighted several instances where money obtained through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits fraud went to fund acts of terrorism, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombings and the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.
“Hawalas” used to launder money
The U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) identified that many terrorists would get away with funding their illicit activities by using businesses known as “hawalas” to launder money.
A “hawala”— which is an Arabic term defined in English as transfer (or trust)— is a method of transferring money through informal agents from international networks, and many Muslim immigrants settled in western countries use the “hawala” method to transfer funds to family members.
GAI, citing a U.S. Treasury report, found that more than $7 billion flows into Pakistan alone through hawalas every year.
Investigators say it is very difficult to track the money moved around through hawalas, even though the federal government has known about the use of hawalas and their alleged role in financing terrorism for years.
But as federal investigators became more familiar with the welfare fraud mechanisms used to fund terrorist activities after the September 11 attacks, investigators have cracked down on a number of instances where terrorists have used the benefit fraud for such purposes.
By the way, even if your tax dollars don’t make it into the hands of terrorists, the billions of US dollars sent out of the country via remittances to ‘home’ countries have a huge impact on the US as it is money that is not available to our economy.
PORTLAND — Two men from the Twin Cities charged with welfare fraud appeared in federal court Monday seeking release from jail.
At an afternoon hearing, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge John Rich III ordered Abdirashid Ahmed, 38, of Lewiston released on $5,000 bond after seizing his passport.
Rich said Ahmed would be equipped with an electronic monitoring device to ensure he does not leave Androscoggin County.
Ahmed was kept Monday night in federal custody at Cumberland County Jail. He was expected to be escorted Tuesday morning to Lewiston and released into the custody of the U.S. Probation Office. He must get permission from that office if he were to seek to leave Androscoggin County in the future, Rich said.
From time to time, I post what I call “comments worth noting” that have been sent to me or in this case published on social media.
This (below) is a facebook entry from Peggy Traeger Tierney in Minnesota.
Readers ask me all the time, what can I do? Well, this is a prime example.
Help educate your fellow citizens with a little investigative work of your own and then find a way to get it out more broadly—through facebook as Peggy has done, through twitter, via a letter to the editor, or consider writing your own blog (goodness knows we need more citizen journalists!).
In Minnesota we were told by the bright minds in the legislature that they couldn’t figure out what the refugee population there is costing the taxpayers, well here is one piece of the answer.
More recently the outrageous revelation that massive fraud had been uncovered with Somali-run publicly-supported daycare centers has Minnesotans again demanding an accounting.
By the way, one of my top posts of all time is this one (2011) about how so many Somalis first arrived in Minnesota thanks to Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services of MN, and then World Relief. One of the reasons those federal refugee contractors chose Minnesota—generous welfare!
“How dumb are we? Honestly, I think it is impossible to plumb the depths of our stupidity.”
(John Hinderaker at Powerline blog)
“A Scandal Trifecta” is what John Hinderaker at Powerlineblog is calling the latest news from the state where ‘Minnesota nice’ takes on new meaning almost daily.
Sorry, I know a lot of good smart Minnesotans, but just now when I wrote about Swedenlikely being the first European nation to fall to the Islamists, it struck me as interesting that Swedes in past centuries populated Minnesota…hmmm…is there some defect in the genes? A gene that is driving people to succumb to invasion? A suicide gene?
One of my top posts in recent days is this one—You are old and white and we are taking over Minnesota!
Everyone has been sending me this latest news about millions in cash leaving Minnesota for Africa, much of it alleged to have been generated by welfare fraud perpetrated by a certain group of Africans the Minnesota nice people (the infidels) continue to welcome to the state.
Longtime readers know that I’ve had a side interest in food stamp fraud, specifically trafficking in food stamps. This kind of fraud doesn’t involve purchasing unapproved items with food stamps as you might think, but it’s about selling ones benefits for 50 cents on the dollar.
It works like this: customer comes in with benefits, buys some small item, but the cashier rings up a larger amount. Customer walks out with half the cash that was rung up. Clerk submits full amount to government for repayment.
It is called trafficking, and the fraud is huge at mom & pop convenience stores nationwide.
You can see my many previous posts on the topic by clicking here. The vast majority of cases involve immigrant owners/managers of small stores like this one in Maine.
What is different in this Maine case is that the store is a Halal grocery store which says to me that it is very likely that the majority of people participating in the owner’s fraud are people who prefer Halal food.
And, by the way, there have been cases where customers are arrested and also found guilty of taking part in the scheme to defraud the US taxpayer, will there be some here?
PORTLAND (WGME) – A man accused of running a welfare scam out of a Portland halal grocery is pleading guilty.
The market sells meat permissible under Muslim law.
According to federal court documents, Ali Ratib Daham is pleading guilty to federal food stamp and other welfare fraud.
He is also admitting to money laundering and theft from the state’s MaineCare program.
Daham is agreeing to a jail sentence of at least 33 months and will pay more than $1 million in restitution to the government.
In exchange, prosecutors are agreeing to drop dozens of other charges in the case.
The plea deal will be considered in federal district court Tuesday. The guilty plea could cause him to be deported.
They never deport these people, and tell me how is he going to repay $1 million when I’ll bet the money was moved abroad a long time ago.
Here is the pitch I’ve made innumerable times: If you are looking for something to do, start a blog on immigrant welfare fraud. You will have news to post daily and it would be a great service to our country, especially since any real investigative reporters are few and far between.
See this story about investigations underway in Seattle where Somalis are carrying American dollars back to Africa (which is legal, but questionable under the circumstances described in the story from King 5).
Here is the first question that popped into my head when I read this story:
So, if Somalis can travel back and forth to Somalia safely (carrying suitcases stuffed with American dollars that will be lost to the US economy), then doesn’t that mean that Somalia is safe enough and we no longer need to be resettling Somalis at the rate of 750 a month into your towns and cities!
Readthis incredible story! Here are just a few snips:
Travelers pulling suitcases full of cash started showing up at Sea-Tac Airport last year holding tickets for flights headed out of the United States.
Transporting large amounts of cash overseas isn’t illegal. But it was who was carrying the money … and where it was going that caught the attention of security officials.
The people carrying the cash didn’t hide the fact from Customs. Just the opposite, they reported it. Anyone traveling out of the United States is required to declare any amount over $10,000 and fill out a one-page federal form.
These reports are what caught the attention of terrorism investigators in Seattle.
“The thing was the amount, the staggering amount,” said Glenn Kerns, who was assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) at the time.
The couriers were working for Seattle-area hawalas – businesses that derive their name from the Arabic word for “transfer.” Hawalas are part of a traditional system of informal banking in Muslim communities.
Kerns said the first cash shipment rolled through Sea-Tac early last year. A man carrying $750,000 in cash told Customs officials he was transporting the money overseas. Over the next several months, couriers carrying as much as $2 million boarded commercial flights at Sea-Tac.
“One hawala – Seattle hawala – sent out $20 million last year,” said Kerns.
Kerns was a Seattle police officer who retired last December after serving 14 years on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
He uncovered something suspicious when he analyzed financial records that the hawalas are required file with the Washington Department of Financial Institutions.
He researched the names of the ten clients who transferred the most money through hawalas last year.
“All ten of them were on welfare benefits. DSHS benefits,” said Kerns. “It’s fraud. Straight up fraud – every one of them.”
Editor: For new readers, from time to time we post guest columns and comments from readers. All of those are posted in our category entitled, ‘Comments worth noting/guest posts.’ This (below) is very important information from someone who has worked for a refugee resettlement agency and seen firsthand the fraud being perpetrated on American taxpayers. It should serve as further confirmation that the US Refugee Admissions Program has gone seriously astray.
Ann, I started to work five years ago in the refugee resettlement field to serve as a Christian witness through service and assistance. However, I quickly became dismayed as I saw the rampant, but undocumentable, fraud committed by Muslim Iraqi (and Cuban) refugees. While I am sure there must be fraud among other ethnic/religious people groups, Iraqi Muslims are the largest group resettled in my area. The amount of fraudulent income reporting (and non-reporting) by refugee clients is disturbing and fiscally unsustainable.
As your readers (should) know, the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act(H.R. 3314) places an immediate suspension on allowing immigrants into the United States under the refugee resettlement program, until the Government Accountability Office (GAO) completes a thorough examination of its costs on federal, state and local governments.
The following are some of the reasons I support this bill.
Average duration for which refugees receive benefits. – The refugees for whom I apply for state benefits (food stamps, temporary cash assistance, Medicaid) reapply for benefits every six months. The resettlement agency (VOLAG) can assist them with benefit renewal applications for up to five years! Many of these refugees, particularly from Iraq and Afghanistan, come into this country with cash, as evidenced by their purchase of new furniture, clothing, cars, and even homes, within a very short time of their arrival. This could not be done on strictly temporary cash assistance and usually, minimum wage jobs.
It is well known in the resettlement community and by the State of Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Refugee Services that many recipients work for cash, receiving payment “under the table” and never report their actual income to the DCF when reapplying for government benefits. Many of these clients continue to receive food stamps even after they have been here up to and over five years!
The percentage of aliens who receive benefits is 100 percent for resettled refugees. In my job at the VOLAG, I apply for food stamps, temporary aid to needy families (families with children) or refugee cash assistance (singles or couples with no children), and Medicaid. These applications are automatic and are part of the required resettlement core services.
Every refugee who is aged 65 or older automatically receives assistance in applying for SSI benefits! This is automatic, whether the refugee has any presenting issues, other than age, or not! Some refugees under age 65 are turned down after medical reviews do not reveal mental or medical issues. However, refugees aged 65+ are automatically approved for SSI benefits. Social Security Spotlight on SSI Benefits for Aliens – 2015.
It is common knowledge among VOLAG coworkers and employees of the DCF that many refugees commit fraud regularly in their (lack of) income reporting. We are aware of this fraud but have no paper documentation or proof. Certain local small grocery stores, convenience stores, ethnic restaurants, Halal meat markets, bakeries, and imported foods stores hire these refugees, pay them under the table, and the refugees continue to receive benefits for which you and I pay.
Here are a couple of other abuses I have personally seen:
A Liberian refugee entered the country legally but managed to get his adult son brought over as a refugee minor to serve as his caretaker. The son has verbally admitted to me that he was over 21 years of age when he arrived in this country but his fraudulent documents showed him to be under 18!
A Cuban couple entered this country with documents which show them as married, however, they verbally stated to their caseworker that they are not married and the “wife” plans to move in with friends. She will continue to receive benefits while her friends support her as she has “no income.”
A Muslim Ethiopian-Somali refugee abruptly quit his job when he found he cannot stop work to pray five times a day!
An Arabic speaking “friend” “translates” the driver’s license test for Arabic speakers in northeast Florida. His “friends” pay over $250 for a driver’s license as he gives the correct answers to them and for them.
RRW readers simply must find the refugee resettlement and immigration events in your city and state and SHOW UP! You need to know what is going on in your area. You need to “push back” and demand answers about the impact this is having on your neighborhoods, local schools, HUD housing, slum lorded apartment complexes, and your local, state and federal government expenses.
Yes, I know and love many good hearted, honest, hardworking immigrants and refugees. From my experiences, most of these come from the persecuted Christian Burmese, Bhutanese, Congolese and Sudanese populations. I have “gone to bat” for them as I’ve tutored in English, taken children to school, doctor appointments, church activities.
I encourage you to volunteer at your local VOLAG and, if you are a Christian, share the love of God in Jesus Christ with them. Whether you are a Christian or not, volunteer to help them assimilate into a free nation built upon Judeo-Christian worldview and values for the sake of your own children and grandchildren!
Ann Corcoran has done an Herculean job of researching and documenting information for you. Burn up her website finding out what is happening in your area. Use these links to do some research on your own:
Endnote: Besides support for Rep. Brian Babin’s bill (which I am told now has 50 co-sponsors), everyone must begin, starting today, to call your Member of Congress, your US Senators and the leadership and demand that they stop the funding for the Refugee Admissions Program for FY2016as Congress will be debating funding for the entire government in advance of a December 11th deadline. See my post here for more information.