Westbrook man sentenced to two years in halal market fraud

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A man found guilty of abusing food stamp programs at a local market was sentenced to two years in prison Monday.

Abdulkareem Daham, 22, of Westbrook was convicted in January of conspiracy to defraud the federal government by allowing recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children to trade their food vouchers for cash. The transactions were made at Ahram Halal Market, the Forest Avenue grocery store in Portland owned at the time by Abdulkareem’s brother, Ali Ratib Daham.

Abdulkareem Daham, who was a cashier at the market, could have received up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Also, as an immigrant from Iraq who is not a U.S. citizen, he faces potential deportation.

His lawyer, Peter Rodway, says he will appeal the 24-month sentence.

Daham’s brother, who is a U.S. citizen, faces a much stiffer sentence. Ali Ratib Daham pleaded guilty in November to three of the 25 counts he faced. He also agreed to forfeit $80,000 in cash that federal agents had seized and will pay $1.4 million in restitution. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Hi sentence is expected to be handed down later today.

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