Couple Wrongly Received $60,000 in Food Stamps, Declare Fake Bankruptcy

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DETROIT — A husband and wife have pleaded guilty to federal charges related to a fraud scheme that included falsely providing food aid, false bankruptcy and lying to the IRS, officials said.

Abraham Elsaghir, 52, of Dearborn, pleaded guilty to one count of misrepresentation to a United States agency, one count of federal tax evasion and one count of fraudulent bankruptcy, according to a Press release of the US Department of Justice. Samar Elsaghir, 51, of Dearborn, pleaded guilty to one count of misrepresentation to a United States agency and one count of federal tax evasion. They both pleaded before Judge Laurie J. Michelson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

“We have seen an unprecedented number of people commit fraud on government programs,” U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison said in a statement. “This case involved multiple layers of deception – lying to bankruptcy court, the IRS, and the USDA. vigorously investigated and prosecuted.

According to information in the plea agreements, in May 2017, Abraham and Samar Elsaghir filed a voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition and obtained a discharge of their debts in August 2017. However, the Elsaghirs falsified their report bankruptcy by under-declaring their income.

Around the same time, the Elsaghirs made similar misrepresentations to both the IRS on their 2016 tax return and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. ), also known as food stamps.

From 2014 to 2020, the Elsaghirs received nearly $60,000 in food stamps that they were not entitled to receive. For the 2014-2018 tax years, the couple owes the IRS an additional $70,000. Abraham Elsaghir also agreed that he owed – and agreed to pay – more than $166,000 to unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy case.

“This investigation sends the message that those who lie to federal investigators and commit fraud in the process will be held accountable,” Josh Hauxhurst, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit Division, said in a statement.

The sentencing of Abraham Elsaghir and Samar Elsaghir has been set for June 23 before Judge Michelson. Each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.

The investigation was conducted jointly by special agents from the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and the USDA Office of Inspector General – Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick E. Corbett and U.S. Special Assistant Attorney Richard A. Roble.

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