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Former East Ferry store operator spared federal prison for food stamp fraud

Ahmed Hassan, 67, of Buffalo, the former operator of the Ferry Community Market on East Ferry Street, was ordered by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci on Wednesday to begin two years of probation with eight months of home detention on a food stamp fraud conviction.

Hassan was also ordered to repay the federal government $68,177 for his scheme. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti said Hassan from June 1, 2012 to Aug. 31, 2012 had employees purchase food stamp benefits from customers for less than their full value in return for cash payments to the customers. By swiping those food stamp cards through an electronic funds transfer terminal at the market over $68,000 was illegally obtained by the business, the prosecutor said.