The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested the owner of a Sarasota gas station for purchasing stolen jewelry and illegally using food assistance Electronic Benefit Transaction (EBT) cards.
Rami Mufeed Ibsais, 43, of Bradenton, was arrested Thursday, Feb. 21, on a charge of eleven counts of social welfare fraud.
The cards were illegally used at the CITGO Gas Station, 919 N. Washington Blvd., according to the arrest report.
According to the report, from July 2012 through December 2012, the sheriff’s office received reports that employees at the CITGO were purchasing the EBT cards for fifty cents on the dollar. Deputies recovered a large quantity of suspected stolen jewelry and a total of 15 EBT cards inside the store. Some of the cards had pin numbers written on the back of the cards.
The United States Department of Agriculture Food (USDA) notified the sheriff’s office that 14 out of the 15 cards had been used at the gas station, and seven of the cards were used to purchase more than $200.
Sheriff’s officials “believe Ibsais (and his brother) did possess and did use the EBT cards in the store and did misappropriate these funds to have a financial gain,” according to the arrest report.