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Already Indicted On Point-Shaving Charges, Man Arrested For Food Stamp Fraud

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DETROIT (CBS Detroit) — The man at the heart of a point-shaving scandal involving the University of Toledo just can’t stay out of trouble.

Ghazi “Gary” Manni, co-owner of King Cole Foods, was arrested Sept. 16 on charges of alleged food stamp fraud involving transactions that went on at his Sterling Heights store, according to the Daily Tribune.

Manni and his brother Adil “Eddie” Manni were one of at least a dozen retail owners arrested in what was the culmination of a two-week operation, which focused on retail owners redeeming food stamp benefits for cash, according to federal prosecutors. The food stamps were, allegedly, allowed to be traded for items such as tobacco, household furnishings and appliances, and clothing, a practice outlawed by federal regulations.

Manni is one of two Detroit-area businessmen indicted by a federal grand jury for his role in the point-shaving scheme involving at least seven University of Toledo football and men’s basketball players. Manni and Mitchell Karam allegedly gave money and gifts to Toledo student-athletes during the course of two years in exchange for fixing the outcome of games. The pair is accused of betting approximately $407,000 on Toledo men’s basketball games between November 2005 and December 2006. Before being indicted in 2009, Manni told the Toledo Blade in September 2007 that he didn’t expect to ever be federally charged for taking part in a point-shaving scheme involving the Toledo athletes.

“If the FBI had any evidence against me, they already would’ve snatched [me] up,” Manni said at the time.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Manni was released on bond Wednesday, ordered to wear a tether for his alleged role in food stamp fraud scheme. When Manni was released on bond in the point-shaving case, one of the conditions for his release was that Manni “shall not commit any offense in violation of federal, state or local law while on release.”

Messages left for U.S. District Attorney Public Information Officer Gina Balaya and U.S. District Attorney Spokeswoman Sue Plochinski were not returned.

CBS Detroit attempted to reach Manni at King Cole Foods for comment on the food stamp fraud arrest. “There’s nobody who can answer that here,” a man told CBS Detroit, not identifying himself before hanging up.

A status conference updating any new developments in the Toledo point-shaving case is expected to take place Nov. 22.

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