3 arrested in undercover food stamp operation at Phoenix store

Money seized from the bank vault

Credit: Arizona Attorney General's Office

Money seized from the bank vault

Print
Email
|

by Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

Posted on August 29, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 3 at 9:54 PM

Map: K&S Convenience Store

View larger map

PHOENIX -- A father and his two sons have been arrested during an undercover food stamp operation, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced Thursday.

Kameel Sweiss, 51, Ameer Sweis, 22, and Faday Sweis, 33, face charges of illegally conducting an enterprise, fraudulent schemes and artifices, money laundering, unlawful use of food stamps and computer tampering.

The three men work at K&S convenience store near Bethany Home Road and 27th Avenue in Phoenix.

Phoenix police SWAT units served search warrants at the store and a Peoria home Wednesday morning. They seized $32,876 and the key to a private bank vault that held $550,480 in cash, according to Horne. Authorities also seized bank records and accounts, extraneous food stamp cards, business ledgers and three vehicles.

Horne said the business would allow a person with a food stamp card to purchase something small and then overcharge that card to make a fraudulent profit.

"This seizure is the largest in our state's history with regard to food stamp fraud and should serve as a strong warning to those who continue to engage in these kinds of illegal actions," Horne said.

In addition to $100,000 bonds, all three men are required to surrender their passports as a condition of release. The judge added that if any of the defendants post bond, they will have to wear an ankle monitor.

The arrests came after months of an undercover operation involving the Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix Police Department, United States Department of Agriculture, Office of the Inspector General, and Arizona Department of Economic Security.
 

Print
Email
|