Lawrence Mulqueen, suspect in Facebook threats against pols, charged with food stamp fraud
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Lawrence Mulqueen, who turned 50 on Sunday, was arraigned Monday in Clarkstown Town Court on the new charges, Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said.
Clerks at Nyack Food Mart in Central Nyack would let Mulqueen use food stamps to get cash back from the card or buy alcohol, cigarettes or other items not covered by the federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, in an amount adding up to $1,768, according to officials and court documents. The scheme occurred from Aug. 5, 2011, to Jan. 10 of this year, officials said.
In some cases, the clerks would swipe Mulqueen's electronic benefit transfer card and enter bogus grocery transactions, then give him cash for a portion of the amount charged and keep the rest as profit on each fraudulent purchase, officials said.
Mulqueen was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and misuse of food stamps, both felonies.
The store's owners, Nissar Ahmed, 59, and Shafaqat Ali, 46, were hit with the same charges Jan. 16, and five clerks at the store were charged with petty larceny. The status of that case was not immediately clear Wednesday, and attorney information for Ahmed and Ali was not available.
Jason Ser, Mulqueen's attorney in the Facebook threat case, said Wednesday he was not aware of the new charges. Ser confirmed that his client is scheduled in U.S. District Court in White Plains Thursday for an appearance on the threat-making charges. He declined to comment further on the case.
Mulqueen faces up to 15 years on the threats-related charges and up to four years on each of the fraud charges if convicted.
His next court date on the food stamp charges is July 8.
Mulqueen is accused of threatening the lives of Cuomo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Harrison) and members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Clarkstown police found a minor arsenal of weapons in his Freedman Avenue apartment when they arrested him Feb. 20. A search of his apartment turned up two rifles, two bayonets, a sword, a metal knuckle knife, ammunition and body armor, authorities said.
Mulqueen was ineligible to own the weapons because of multiple felony DWI convictions, authorities explained.
Mulqueen said on Facebook that he wanted all Obama supporters dead, including Cuomo and Bloomberg, calling them "traitor scum" and declaring "death to them all," police said.
He was charged federally Feb. 26 with one count of threatening to kill federal officials and one count of transmitting threats in interstate commerce. He also faces a state felony charge of third-degree weapons possession.
Authorities are investigating whether Mulqueen is an adherent of the "Sovereign Citizen" movement, which the FBI has labeled a domestic terrorist group, News12 reported. Often tax protesters, so-called "sovereign citizens," argue that they are subject only to common law and are not bound by the authority of local, state or federal governments. In 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center estimated there were about 100,000 "hard-core sovereign believers" living in the United States.