Date: January 15, 2020
ERIE, Pa. — Two people have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Erie on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and food stamp fraud.
The five-count Indictment named Laith Kadhem of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Haydar Al-Kofi of Lakeside, California, as defendants.
According to the Indictment presented to the court, from in and around March 2016 to in and around September 2017, Kadhem, who was the owner and operator of Anwar Fresh Meat Market in Erie and Al-Kofi, who was the manager and partner working at Anwar Fresh Meat Market, conspired to defraud the United States by filing an application containing false information for a license to accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits and accepting food stamps for cash, and ineligible items.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 25 years in prison, a fine of $1,250,000, or both for each defendant. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
An Indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.