Portland shop owner pleads guilty to welfare fraud

According to federal court documents, Ali Ratib Daham is pleading guilty to federal food stamp and other welfare fraud. (WGME)

PORTLAND (WGME) – A man accused of running a welfare scam out of a Portland halal grocery is pleading guilty.

The market sells meat permissible under Muslim law.

According to federal court documents, Ali Ratib Daham is pleading guilty to federal food stamp and other welfare fraud.

He is also admitting to money laundering and theft from the state's MaineCare program.

Daham is agreeing to a jail sentence of at least 33 months and will pay more than $1 million in restitution to the government.

In exchange, prosecutors are agreeing to drop dozens of other charges in the case.

The plea deal will be considered in federal district court Tuesday. The guilty plea could cause him to be deported.

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