Convenience Store Owner, Worker, Sentenced to Prison for Defrauding Federal Food Stamp Program

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JAVED SAEED, 53, and DASTGIR SAEED, 69, both of South Windsor, were sentenced today in New Haven federal court for food stamp fraud offenses.  U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall sentenced Javed Saeed to one year and one day of imprisonment and three years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay a $5,000 fine.  Judge Hall sentenced Dastgir Saeed to two months of imprisonment and two years of supervised release, the first two months of which must be served in home detention, and ordered him to pay a $2,500 fine.

The federal Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (“SNAP”) is administered by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and utilizes federal tax dollars to subsidize low-income households to provide them with the opportunity to achieve a more nutritious diet by increasing their food-purchasing power.  SNAP recipients purchase eligible food items at retail food stores through the use of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, and SNAP benefits may be accepted by authorized retailers only in exchange for eligible items.  Items such as alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, paper goods and soaps are not eligible for purchase with Food Stamp benefits, and it is a violation of the rules and regulations governing the food stamp program to allow benefits to be used to purchase ineligible items.  SNAP benefits may not lawfully be exchanged for cash under any circumstances.  The program is designed so that the total amount of each purchase made with SNAP benefits is electronically transferred to the retailer’s designated bank account.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Javed Saeed is the owner of Manchester Quick Mart, a convenience store and Mobil gas station located at 262 Oakland Street in Manchester.  His father, Dastgir Saeed, and others, including Siddiq Chaudhary and Mohammed Khan, helped operate the store.  Between January 2017 and January 2020, Javeed Saeed, Dastgir Saeed, Chaudhary, Khan and others illegally allowed customers to redeem their food stamp benefits for cash and other ineligible items, including gasoline and male enhancement pills, and charged the customers’ food stamp cards a premium of nearly 50 percent for these transactions.

Javed Saeed has paid full restitution in the amount of $211,208.

On May 10, 2022, Javed and Dastgir Saeed each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud.

Chaudhary and Khan, both of South Windsor, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and one count of engaging in food stamp fraud.  They await sentencing.

This investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anastasia E. King.