3 store owners charged in Link card scam
Left to right: Mohammed Abuzir, Walid Mohammed, and Imad Qatanani. (Chicago Police Department photos / November 30, 2012)
- Burbank (Cook, Illinois)
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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- 6800 S Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60636, USA
- 8500 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60620, USA
- 6550 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60636, USA
- 5550 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60636, USA
- 1650 W Garfield Blvd, Chicago, IL 60636, USA
Walid Mohamed, 50, of Palos Hills, Imad Qatanani, 37, of Burbank and Mohammed Abuzir, 49 of Bridgeview are each charged with organizing a criminal financial crime enterprise.
Link cards function as debit cards for Illinois residents eligible for "cash assistance or ... food stamps," according to the state Department of Human Services. The three are accused of making phony transactions that allowed customers to get cash, officials said.
Police were tipped to the scam in June and opened an investigation with the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Homeland Security, officials said.
Police searched safety deposit boxes, bank accounts and seized two guns and $100,000.
The stores closed were on Ashland Avenue south of Garfield Boulevard; Garfield Boulevard west of Ashland Avenue; the 6500 block of South Ashland Avenue; the 8500 block of South Ashland Avenue; and the 6800 block of South Damen Avenue.