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Valley business owners arrested for food stamp fraud

PHOENIX — Two Arizona business owners were arrested Wednesday for allegedly defrauding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, according to a press release.

Aamir Sheikh and Shahbano Sheikh, owners of businesses in Mesa and Phoenix, allegedly committed several crimes associated with SNAP fraud, including fraudlent schemes and artifices, unlawful use of food stamps and computer tampering.

Arizona Department of Economic Security Director Tim Jeffries said the owners were arrested after conducting an 8-month investigation.

“The Arizona Department of Economic Security is vigilant about ensuring those who need assistance receive it,” he said in the press release. “When individuals choose to cheat the system for their own personal gain, it takes away assistance from those (who) are in dire need. We are bringing down the hammer of justice on those who defraud the system.”

Those who are eligible for the SNAP program are permitted to use the benefits for eligible food items only and cannot exchange or redeem them for cash.

KTAR News’ Jim Cross and Jessica Suerth contributed to this report.

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