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Former Lovejoy grocer gets probation for food stamp scheme

A Lovejoy grocer who used customers’ food stamp benefits to stock his shelves with items bought at other supermarkets was sentenced Friday to six months in jail plus five years probation and ordered to pay $3,800 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Ahmed Alshami, 37, previously pleaded guilty to misusing food stamp benefits, and, in an unrelated case, to attempted burglary, for taking items from a vacant house near his store.

Alshami’s IGA Community Express Mart on Ludington at Davey streets has since closed after numerous neighborhood complaints about suspected illegal activity and Alshami’s arrest.

Because he never posted bail after his arrest last summer, Alshami already has spent about eights months in jail, two months more than his sentence.

Judge Michael Pietruszka gave Alshami 60 months to repay the restitution.

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