Two East Side grocers have pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of food stamp benefits in federal court for buying food stamps from customers for less than their cash value.
Bandar Alsaidi, 28, and his brother, Talal Alsaidi, 31, both of Buffalo, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. They face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when they are sentenced Nov. 3.
The Alsaidis ran the Big Boys Food Market, 1129 East Ferry St., and became eligible to accept food stamps starting on Jan. 18, 2012.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, they began their fraud scheme almost immediately. Between April 2012 and May 2013, they illegally exchanged nearly $148,000 of food stamp benefits for cash instead of for eligible food.