Buffalo Man Charged for Welfare Fraud, Illegal Use of Benefits

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BUFFALO, NY – 33-year-old Farquan Aljabbouri of Buffalo was arraigned this morning before Buffalo City Court Judge Peter J. Savage, III, according to Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.

Flynn said Aljabbouri was charged with one count of Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree (Class “D” felony)One count of Criminal Use of a Public Benefit Card in the Second Degree (Class “A” misdemeanor), One count of Misuse of Food Stamps, Food Stamp Program Coupons, Authorization Cards and Electronic Access Devices (Class “D” Felony under New York Social Services Law).

“It is alleged that between September 26, 2020 and April 13, 2022, the defendant, while working as a cashier at a convenience store, fraudulently used Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards from customers in exchange for cash,” D.A. Flynn said. “An investigation allegedly found that the defendant fraudulently obtained more than $14,000 in public assistance benefits by using the EBT cards to purchase items for the store located on South Park Avenue near Good Avenue in the City of Buffalo.”

Aljabbouri is scheduled to return on Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. for a felony hearing. He was released on his own recognizance as the charges are non-qualifying offenses for bail.   

“This case is particularly concerning to me because this defendant’s alleged criminal actions exploited poor people in our community. Instead of being used to purchase food and other essential items for those who truly need help, this defendant is accused of paying people off to use their food stamp cards for his own benefit,” said DA John Flynn. “I encourage anyone who has information on the misuse of public assistance funds to contact my office.”