- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say the owner of a grocery store in Bessemer has been sentenced to prison for food stamp fraud.

Officials said in a statement Wednesday that 50-year-old Hasan Ahmed was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison and is also ordered to forfeit $5.2 million to the government.

Prosecutors say Ahmed owned Associated Discount Foods on ninth street in Bessemer, which was authorized by the USDA to accept food stamp benefits.

Authorities say he allowed customers to buy ineligible items with food stamp benefits at inflated prices and swapped food stamps for cash.

Prosecutors say Ahmed also funneled money from illegal food stamp sales into another bank account that he opened to try concealing the fraud and made structured withdrawals to avoid scrutiny from banking officials.

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