The massive expansion of food stamp use under Obama has led to numerous instances of fraud. The people who set up these scams frequently trade food stamp cards for cash. In this case, it was a massive amount.
CBS News in Baltimore reports:
14 Arrested In Raids Related to $16 Million Food Stamp Fraud
More than a dozen retail store operators in and around Baltimore have been charged in connection to a huge food stamp and wire fraud scheme.
The indictments allege the retailers received more than $16 million in federal payments for transactions in which they did not provide any food, a fraud scheme commonly known as “food stamp trafficking.”
Retailers must apply to and be approved by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service to participate in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, which helps low income families afford nutritious foods.
In Maryland, the program provides eligible individuals with an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card, which operates like a debit card. Authorized retailers use a terminal that checks the card information and deducts the cash value of the purchase from the SNAP balance.
SNAP reimbursements are paid to retailers through electronic funds transfers. Retailers bill the government in return for providing approved food items to customers.
The indictments allege that the defendants illegally exchanged EBT benefits for cash, instead. To avoid detection, they debited the funds from the card in multiple transactions over a period of hours or days, or called a different store where the transaction was processed manually, the Department of Justice says.
Food stamp fraud has always been an issue but has really taken off in the last eight years.
Hmm… What changed?