ITHACA, N.Y.—The owner of a local grocery store has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to food stamp fraud, as had been alleged by the federal government. The case was first announced in 2021.

Abdul Jalil, 55, the owner of Ithaca Halal Meat and Grocery, pled guilty to federal food stamp fraud, admitting that he “exchanged food stamp benefits for cash with customers at his store,” according to federal prosecutors. He’s required to repay the full amount of money that was impacted by the exchanges, which is $120,061.

The conduct is forbidden by the United States Department of Agriculture. Jalil faces up to five years in prison, additional fines of up to $250,000 and supervised release of up to three years, according to the feds. The case was investigated by the Ithaca Police Department in conjunction with federal authorities.

The Ithaca Halal Meat and Grocery was the winner of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance’s Race for the Space II competition in 2018, awarded a $4,500 prize and given a year of free rent when Jalil and his wife started the store in Press Bay Court.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com