“Halder thought that his scheme to defraud the government and his attempt to evade prosecution would be successful, but thanks to HSI and its law enforcement partners, both here and abroad, he was sadly mistaken,” said Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta acting Special Agent in Charge Travis Pickard.
Hundreds of thousands of Georgians are on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly and more well-known as food stamps. It provides funds for low-income households to buy groceries. The way it works is through providing benefits on cards that can be exchanged for certain eligible food items.
In 2014, Halder enrolled his “Big Daddy’s Discount Meat” Atlanta market in the SNAP program.
According to press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
Between 2015 and 2020, Halder loaned his EBT terminals to two other stores, which is against SNAP rules. The operators of those stores agreed to share profits with Halder from Big Daddy’s terminals used illegally at those stores. After receiving Big Daddy’s EBT terminals, the stores gave cash payments of about 50 cents on the dollar to customers, in return for redeeming their SNAP benefits.
During that time, the terminals collected more than $10 million in fraudulent redemptions of SNAP benefits, and Halder shared a substantial portion of the profits.
His co-conspirator, Paltu Roy, 51, of Stone Mountain, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in December of 2021.
He was later sentenced to three years and one month in prison, and ordered to pay the USDA back more than $3 million dollars, among other things.
“Crime does not pay is the lesson we want others, contemplating scams, to take from this case and change their minds,” Pickard said.