According to the indictment to which he pleaded guilty, Nagi owned and operated New York Deli and Grocery, located at 1207 West Baltimore Street, in Baltimore. Through the store, Nagi participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as the Food Stamp Program. In Maryland, the program provides eligible individuals with an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card called the Independence Card, which operates like a debit card. Recipients obtain EBT cards through the state Department of Human Resources, then use the EBT card to purchase approved food items from participating retailers.
Nagi knew that it was a violation of SNAP regulations to trade cash for SNAP benefits. Nevertheless, from February 2011 through May 2013, Nagi exchanged SNAP benefits for cash at less than face value of the EBT benefits, in violation of the food stamp program rules. Typically, Nagi and kept up to 50 percent of the benefits for himself. To avoid detection, Nagi often debited funds in multiple transactions within minutes of each other. As a result of these illegal cash transactions, Nagi admitted that he obtained more than $1.2 million for food sales that never occurred.