- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Brothers who own a downtown Pittsburgh convenience store will each spend six months on house arrest as part of their two-year probation sentences for food stamp fraud.

Prosecutors argued 43-year-old Hadi Ibrahim, of Green Tree, and his 41-year-old brother, Wesam Ibrahim, of Scott Township, deserved at least a year in prison for costing the federal government nearly $200,000.

But their attorneys said the hard-working Syrian immigrants deserve a second chance because they’ve already started to repay the money and cooperated with investigators as soon as they were caught.

Tuesday’s sentence essentially split the difference between the two sides.

Prosecutors say the brothers let customers at City News & Arcade trade in food stamps for 50 cents on the dollar, or otherwise use food stamps to buy items that are illegal under the program, such as cigarettes.

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