Five arrested in food stamp fraud investigation

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Police and agents from the U.S. Inspector General's office arrested five people in a four-year investigation over alleged food stamp fraud.

Police believe Mahmoud Tajgerdu allowed people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to exchange their benefits for cash at the market he owned, Beaverton Halal Meat and Mediterranean Groceries on Southwest Canyon Road.

Investigators say Tajgerdu would charge a fee for the transaction, essentially charging $125 to the SNAP card, giving $100 to the recipient and keeping $25 for the store. They also arrested three of his employees at the grocery and a 76 gas station he owned. Tajgerdu, Bahman Hoshmand, Aziz Darakhshani, and Rafik Korkut all face charges of theft and unlawfully obtaining supplemental nutritional assistance.

Tajgerdu's daughter Negin was arrested on perjury charges.