Food Stamp Fraud Under Investigation
The USDA is looking into the increase of food stamp fraud with the help of the states
Some recipients of food stamps are taking advantage of the welfare program by illegally selling their food stamp cards, then asking the government for replacement cards, according to The Washington Post.
In some cases, these recipients are even using websites such as eBay and Craigslist to sell their cards for cash.
The USDA is giving state governments more leeway to investigate these fraudulent crimes. States will be given permission to investigate people who claim to have lost their cards three or four times a year.
New rules and regulations would require recipients to formally explain how and why they lost their card.
“Up to this point, the states’ hands have been tied unless they absolutely suspected fraudulent activity,” said Kevin Concannon, the agricultural department’s undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services.
About $750 million dollars is lost each year due to food stamp fraud. The USDA has been in touch with both eBay and Craiglist warning them of the dangers of allowing this type of behavior. Both companies say they are reviewing ads on their sites and are actively removing fraudulent ads.
Although not technically illegal, food stamps tend to drum up quite the controversy in other ways. Check out this story on Food Stamp Fridays at an Alabama nightclub.