- Associated Press - Thursday, July 10, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) - Two northeast Ohio brothers have been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in federal prison for their roles in a $2 million food stamp fraud scheme.

A judge on Thursday also ordered 42-year-old Saed Wahdan (SY’-ed WAH’-dawn) and 43-year-old Maher Wahdan (mehr WAH’-dawn) to pay a total of $200,000 in restitution. They pleaded guilty earlier to food stamp fraud charges.

They were accused of buying food stamp recipients’ debit cards at a discount and using the cards to buy products at retail outlets to stock shelves at their four stores in Cleveland.

They also were accused of putting stores in straw owners’ names to get permits for a federal nutrition program. Prosecutors say one straw owner never was in the store he supposedly owned.

The brothers’ attorneys say the sentences are fair.

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