Daytona Beach, FL - The owner of a Daytona Beach food mart and his son are now in custody as local and federal authorities continue to dig further into an investigation involving the illegal use of food stamp cards.
Daytona Beach police say the owner of the 4M Food Mart, 56-year-old Bassam Sale Abu Diab, and 22-year-old Matthew Abu Diab stole at least $88,000 worth of funds from federally-funded EBT cards.
The business – located on 740 North Ridgewood Avenue, just south of Mason Avenue – was raided Monday morning by Daytona Beach Code Enforcement, the United States Secret Service, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Florida Department of Alcohol, Beverage & Tobacco, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Department of Revenue.
The elder Abu Diab’s home on 221 Gala Circle was also searched at the same time Monday as part of the investigation, which has been ongoing since authorities initially raided the store to recover stolen goods last December.
Investigators believe the Abu Diabs were purchasing those food stamp cards – also known as EBT cards – between 20 and 40 cents on the dollar, then using them to make purchases at other locations.
In a press release, DBPD states they spotted numerous code and fire violations during their raid today, along with seizing $23,000 worth of cash and a vehicle.
According to the police reports, undercover officers entered the food mart on at least 7 different occasions between February 26 and April 1, offering to either sell their EBT card to the Abu Diabs in exchange for cash or use it to purchase non-essential items like cigarettes, which are forbidden under federal law.
Investigators say the Abu Diabs would use these cards to purchase items from other stores which they would sell later at their store, primarily things one would spot at a convenience store, like bread and milk.
Both the Abu Diabs were booked at the Volusia County Jail.
Store photo above courtesy of Google.
Bassam Sale Abu Diab (picture courtesy Volusia County Jail)
Matthew Abu Diab (picture courtesy Volusia County Jail)
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