Former UA player pleads guilty to food stamp fraud

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A former Alabama football player has pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud and falsely claiming a woman he wasn't married to as his wife on an immigration form.

Saleem Abdul Rasheed, 30, of Bessemer, entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Karen Bowdre on Monday, March 19. His sentencing date is set for July 12, according to U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.

Rasheed is a former Jefferson County school teacher and also played for the San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans and Calgary Stampeders.

Rasheed admitted today that on April 2, 2010, he signed an immigration form for a woman he claimed as his wife while he was legally married to someone else. He also pleaded guilty today to receiving $5,551 in food stamps between October 2009 and April 2010 while claiming he was unemployed, Vance said. During that time, he was working as a teacher for the Jefferson County Board of Education.

Rasheed now faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the charge of knowingly making a false statement on the immigration form, and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the food stamp fraud.

The FBI and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case against Rasheed.