Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Erie Convenience Store Owner Pleads Guilty to Food Stamp Fraud

 ERIE, Pa. - A resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and food stamp fraud, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Abdul Alquraishi, 54, pleaded guilty to two counts before Chief United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Abdul Alquraishi and three co-defendants were engaged in exchanging food stamps for cash on a regular basis at The Lotto World, also known as Samir’s and Lotto World Convenience, a convenience store located at 832 State Street in Erie that Alquraishi owned and operated. Alquraishi and his three co-defendants also allowed customers to pay off store credit with food stamps. Alquraishi was also using customers’ food stamp cards to buy items at various stores in the area.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for November 22, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Alquraishi on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, and the Erie Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Alquraishi.

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