An affluent Ohio resident has been charged with welfare fraud after collecting $8,300 in food stamps, Medicaid and other forms of government assistance while hiding his wealth. Pascal Mahvi, a Middle-Easternhas been nicknamed the “Food Stamp Millionaire.”
According to TV station WKYC, Mahvi claims to be the son of an Iranian prince and even said he once dined with Trump. He alleges he needed welfare because the businesses he owned underwent closures, but a finding from investigators proved there was no such need. The aforementioned news outlet was responsible for exposing Mahvi’s two-year deception. A 2016 investigation by WKYC led to the raiding of Mahvi’s home last September.
More than $1 million was discovered among Mahvi’s family bank accounts, half of which he claimed were loans from friends. But loans or no loans, investigators discovered the scammer lives in an $800,000 house with a built-in swimming pool, has multiple cars, a stable of horses and owns properties that have yet to be tended to but are worth millions.
“I think this is an individual who just takes whatever he can get,” said James Flaiz, the prosecutor in the case. “And this is something that he thought he could get. And there’s consequences to his actions.”
Mahvi was convicted of two charges related to his fraudulence and will be sentenced in four to six weeks. Prosecutors in the case assert that the defendant should receive jail time, but a legal analyst for WKYC and attorney Adam VanHo think there’s a slim possibility the con man will face any serious jail time. They speculate he’ll instead get probation, be placed on house arrest or serve a brief stint in jail.
The term “welfare queen” derives from a 1976 speech by President Ronald Reagan in which he spoke of a theoretical woman who became rich because of government assistance. The term has been used as a racist archetype of a Black woman attempting to receive as much government assistance as possible while not seeking employment opportunities.