PITTSBURGH (AP) – Two brothers who operate a downtown Pittsburgh convenience store face sentencing for food stamp fraud before a federal judge.
Prosecutors say 43-year-old Hadi Ibrahim, of Green Tree, and his 42-year-old brother, Wesam Ibrahim, deserve at least a year in prison for the fraud that cost the federal government nearly $200,000.
But their attorneys say the hard-working Syrian immigrants deserve a second chance because they’ve already started to repay the government and cooperated with investigators as soon as they were caught.
Prosecutors say the brothers let customers at City News & Arcade trade in food stamps for 50 cents on the dollar, or otherwise use the public assistance to buy items that are illegal under the program, such as cigarettes.
They pleaded guilty in April and were to be sentenced Tuesday.
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