A Hudson Valley convenience store owner and his son-in-law were arrested following a long investigation into welfare fraud involving the illegal use of Electronic Benefit Cards.

In November and early December, New York State Police at Middletown conducted a welfare fraud investigation involving the use of Electronic Benefit Cards (EBT) at the Sam's Mart convenience store located at 90 Academy Ave in the city of Middletown.

The investigation revealed that the owner of the business, Ahsan Chaudhry, 59 of Middletown, allowed holders of EBT cards to trade them for cash, often a fraction of the balances on the cards, police say.

Those cards were then allegedly used by Chaudhry and his son-in-law Ammar Ahmad, 24, also of Middletown to purchase inventory for the store at various retailers in the Middletown area.

Both were arrested on Wednesday after a search warrant was executed at the store.

Chaudhry was charged with criminal use of a benefit card, criminal possession of a forged instrument, criminal possession of a benefit card, possession of counterfeit tax stamps, all felonies, misuse of food stamps, welfare fraud and possession of or sale of unstamped cigarettes, misdemeanors.

Ahmad was charged with criminal possession of a benefit card and welfare fraud.

Chaudhry was released on his own recognizance. Ahmad was remanded to the Orange County Jail in lieu of $1,000 cash bail or $2,000 bond.

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