St. Cloud grocery market owner sentenced for food stamp, UI fraud

The owner and operator of a St. Cloud grocery store has been sentenced to prison in connection to food stamp and COVID-19 unemployment benefit fraud.

Sixty-year-old Hared Jibril owned and operated Hormud Meat and Grocery Market and was certified as a vendor for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.

Prosecutors say Jibril and other store employees devised and participated in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Agriculture by exchanging SNAP and WIC benefits for cash and ineligible items from 2018 through 2021. Authorities say the USDA lost over $4.1 million due to the scheme.

Then, in 2020, Jibril applied for unemployment benefits through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, despite being self-employed. His application was granted and the U.S. Department of Treasury paid him $32,724, the attorney’s office says.

Jibril was sentenced Tuesday to 2.5 years (30 months) in prison and three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $4,187,999.72 in restitution.