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Two Brooklyn Men Charged With Stealing $20 Million in SNAP Benefits

The indictment said fraudulent SNAP transactions occurred at the Throop Farm Market in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

A pair of Brooklyn men are facing charges for allegedly trafficking and stealing millions of dollars in benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), United States Attorney Breon Peace announced Tuesday.

Dawood Kassim, 31, and Dia Alqalisi, 26, were both arrested and arraigned following an indictment that was unsealed at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. A third suspect was named in the indictment, but has not been found at this time, according to a news release. 

The indictment alleges that the duo conducted thousands of fraudulent SNAP transactions from Kassim's bodega, Throop Farm Market, in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

From April 2022 through December 2022, Kassim and Alqalisi reportedly allowed several program recipients to exchange their benefits for cash or non-SNAP eligible items, with the duo pocketing a portion of the benefits in the process.

Additionally, Kassim is alleged to have utilized counterfeit and stolen EBT cards to illegally obtain SNAP benefits from unsuspecting victims visiting his store.

Through the illegal transactions, Kassim and Alqalisi allegedly acquired more than $20 million dollars in federally funded SNAP benefits, including over $7 million dollars from accounts residing outside of New York.

“As alleged, the defendants trafficked and stole a massive amount of SNAP benefits from thousands of victims, illegally profiting from federally funded benefits intended for those in need of nutritious meals — which is especially vital in these times of high food costs,” said Peace. 

“The arrests today should be a wakeup call to those who think government programs are a piggy bank they can pillage without fear of consequences.”