Illinois: Mohammad Zaidan Sentenced For Wire Fraud

Illinois Man, Mohammad Zaidan Sentenced and Ordered To Pay Over $5 Million In Restitution For Wire Fraud

HAMMOND (STL.News) Mohammad Zaidan, 53, of Palos Heights, Illinois, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Philip P. Simon upon his guilty plea to wire fraud, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tina L. Nommay.

Zaidan was sentenced to 41 months in prison, 1 year of supervised release and ordered to pay $5,124,212.73 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

According to documents in the case, between December 2015, and November 2020, Zaidan devised a fraudulent scheme to acquire U.S. Department of Agriculture SNAP Benefits, commonly referred to as “food stamps” to which he was not entitled.  He engaged in the illegal trade of food stamp benefits for discounted amounts of cash at a store he owned in Gary, namely Tarrytown Food Mart.  The scheme involved “cash-back” to customers in exchange for a certain ratio of the total SNAP transaction.

This case is the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service and United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Chang and Molly Kelley.