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CLEVELAND - Two men who ran five grocery stores in Ohio have admitted swindling $15 million from the federal food-stamp program and laundering the money through banks in Ohio and the Middle East, The Associated Press reports.
Abdellatif Abuzahrieh and Ali Jaber Faiz pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The pair are expected to each receive three and a half years in prison at sentencing this summer, according to the AP.
The pleas came in the second week of their trial before Judge John M. Manos. Abuzahrieh's wife, Shahrazan, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of food-stamp fraud and could get probation.
Authorities said that from 1994 to last year, the stores bought food stamps from welfare recipients at a discount and redeemed them with the government for their full value.
Some food stamp fraud cases have been tied to terrorism, but First Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Edwards said Thursday that there were no such accusations in this case, the AP reports.