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Document and Benefit Fraud

3 owners of Florida food mart indicted for wire and food stamp fraud

TAMPA, Fla. - Majdi Juma, 29, Hikmat Juma, 38, and Nidal Juma, 40, owners and operators of the Super Corner Food Mart in Bradenton, Fla., were arrested and charged Thursday in federal court for conspiracy and various charges of fraud, including food stamp and wire fraud.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)'s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Bradenton Police Department, United States Secret Service and the Department of Agriculture, Office of the Inspector General.

Majdi and Hikmat have also been charged individually with two separate counts of unlawful structuring of financial transactions to evade currency reporting requirements. The three defendants face five years on each conspiracy and food stamp charge, 10 years on each structuring financial transaction charge, and 20 years on each wire fraud charge.

According to the indictment, Majdi, Hikmat and Nidal operated Super Corner Food Mart, a retail convenience store located at 909 1st Street East in Bradenton.

During the time frame of the alleged conspiracy, Super Corner Food Mart was a participant in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.

From July 2008 through February 2010, the three allegedly conspired and schemed to cheat SNAP by purchasing SNAP benefits from the food mart customers in exchange for cash, minus a fee of approximately 50 percent of the total amount charged to the individual recipient's SNAP account.

This is an illegal practice known as "discounting" or "cash-back." The alleged total loss to the federal government for the period charged is approximately $857,321.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Simon Gaugush.