PITTSBURGH – An Allegheny County resident has entered a plea of guilty to charges of food stamp fraud and theft or conversion of government funds, and in the process causing a loss to the federal food stamp program of $85,000, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today. In the course of the proceeding Imran also indicated that he had entered into a civil settlement agreement with the United States and had agreed to make restitution of $85,000.
United States District Judge David S. Cercone presided over the plea proceeding involving Atif Imran, 41, of Monroeville, Pa.
According to information presented to the court, Imran was the owner and operator of A to Z Convenience Store, Inc., a gas station and convenience store located on West Street in Homestead. A to Z participated in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as the Food Stamp Program. Food stamp recipients could purchase eligible food items at A to Z using food stamp benefit cards. The defendant was aware that Food Stamp Program rules prohibited the exchange of food stamp benefits for cash. Despite this knowledge, on multiple occasions, Mr. Imran and employees of his exchanged food stamp benefits for cash on a discounted basis, usually giving his customers only 50 cents on the dollar for food stamp benefits. A typical exchange would involve the customer purchasing a bottled drink and a snack food item and then providing $100 in food stamp benefits for which he would receive $50 cash.
Assistant United States Attorney Colin Callahan litigated the case on behalf of the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Section of the United States Attorney's Office.
Acting U.S. Attorney Song commended the Office of the Inspector General for the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Imran.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Western District of Pennsylvania