State Regulating Agency Arrests 2 for Selling Cigarettes for Food Stamps
February 17, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation today announced that two individuals have been arrested on charges of food stamp fraud related to the sale of tobacco products. The two defendants were arrested after an investigation that resulted in the sale of cigarettes to undercover agents with the Department's Division of Alcoholic Beverages (ABT). Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater's Division of Public Assistance Fraud and the Fort Pierce Police Department assisted with the investigation and the arrests.
The investigation originated from a complaint received by the Fort Pierce Police Department alleging that two establishments were selling tobacco products and accepting food stamp cards as payment. ABT agents conducted three undercover buys at each location – Brothers Meat and Grocery, Inc. at 2211 Avenue E, Florida beverage license no. 6602616; and Friendly Meat and Grocery at 1703 North 17th Street, Florida beverage license no. 6602484. Both establishments are located in Fort Pierce.
After the investigation was completed, law enforcement officers arrested Iyad M. Shreiteh, 33, and Alaa Mohammad Shreithe, 24, both of Port St. Lucie, on charges of unauthorized use of a food stamp identification card, a second-degree misdemeanor. The Division of Alcoholic Beverages will pursue administrative cases against the license holders. The misdemeanors will be referred to the local State Attorney's Office for prosecution.
Suspected food stamp fraud may be reported to the Florida Department of Children and Families by calling 1-888-762-2237 or online at: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/admin/ig/fraud.shtml.