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AUBURN, MAINE — A Lewiston father of five American children pleaded guilty to welfare fraud-related charges in an effort to avoid deportation and remain with his family when he gets out of prison.

Abdi Hassan, 48, of 69 Lincoln St. was charged in 2013 with 15 counts including felony theft, forgery and negotiating a worthless instrument.

Last week, Hassan agreed to plead guilty to three new charges: one count of theft by deception and two counts of disorderly conduct, all misdemeanors for which he was sentenced to two years in prison.

The article goes on to state the following:

In doing so, Hassan is unlikely to face deportation after serving his sentence because the crimes are not felonies and do not involve moral turpitude, his lawyer, James Howaniec, said Monday.

The theft charge to which Hassan admitted stems from his taking more than $500 from state and federally funded welfare programs Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) as well as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, or TANF and/or the Additional Support for People in Retraining and Employment Program, or ASPIRE, between 2004 and 2013, by intending to give the impression that he was not living with the mother of his children, that the children he was babysitting were not his biological children, that he had no assets and that his only income was from his job at a private business.

The report also stated:

He is expected to begin serving his sentence at the end of September. Until then, he will remain free on his own personal recognizance.

Restitution of $75,756 to DHHS is scheduled for repayment at $25 per month after Hassan has served his sentence and is release from prison.

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