Federal judge issues unusual sentence in food stamp theft case

HAMTRAMCK (AP) — A federal judge issued an unusual sentence to four Bangladeshi-American brothers convicted of food stamp fraud: They must pay for a newspaper ad warning others not to steal.

The Detroit Free Press reports U.S. District Court Judge Avern Cohn ordered the men to run the ad for three weeks — in English and Bengali — in a Hamtramck newspaper.

It must warn readers in the Bangladeshi community that cheating on foods stamps is a federal crime and include their names: Ali, Nazar, Mustak, and Mohammed Ahmed.

They were convicted of exchanging cash, batteries, and phone cards for food stamps at a family store.

Business owner Ali Ahmed was sentenced to nine months in prison. The others were sentenced to one day. All must pay restitution.

Supporters say they are hardworking family men.