Skip to comments.Boston Police Raid Chinatown Stores In EBT Card Crackdown
Posted on 04/19/2012 12:39:19 PM PDT by raccoonradio
CHINATOWN (CBS) Boston police raided five stores in Chinatown Thursday morning in a crackdown on welfare fraud. The businesses were suspected of misusing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.
Some are suspected of paying cash for the food assistance cards, which are limited in how they are used. Last year, the Legislature voted to prohibit the use of EBT cards to buy alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets.
Just last month, a special state commission recommended expanding those restrictions to include a ban on using the cards in nail salons, tattoo parlors, strip clubs and casinos.
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more from Boston Herald—”Theyre using the cards to get cash.-—
>>Dozens of Boston police officers and federal agents raided businesses in Chinatown and across the Bay State this morning in what sources said were investigations into possible EBT card misuses.
A law enforcement source said the multi-agency effort included agents from the IRS, U.S. attorneys office, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the state auditors office and the state attorney generals office.
Among the locations raided by investigators from the AGs office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are a Quincy gas station and convenience store where they arrested the owner and are expected to arrest customers for fraudulent use of those EBT cards, a source said. Theyre using the cards to get cash.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino said the raids were the culmination of a 14-month probe. The probes come on the heels of a similar bust of a store on Blue Hill Avenue, as well as raids in Lynn that found store owners taking EBT cards in an alleged cash-for-crack exchange.
Its something thats always being looked at, Menino spokeswoman Dot Joyce said. Its a benefit that people need and it shouldnt be abused.
In Chinatown, officers are currently investigating businesses including the Cmart Supermarket at 690 Washington St., the Banh Mi New Saigon Sandwich shop at 696 Washington St. and the Mei Sum Vietnamese Bakery on Beach Street.
Police in uniform and plainclothes were blocking the doors of Cmart, preventing shoppers from going inside and creating a large crowd of onlookers on Knapp Street at the rear entrance.
Shoppers are surprised to see this many cops in Chinatown, you rarely see this in the morning, said Courtney Ho-Ha, executive director of Chinatown Main Street.
A press conference will be held later this afternoon.
Howie Carr list ping.
I suspect that may have resulted in a charge of "disparate impact."
Those evil Chinese taking advantage of po' folk again.
Do the prostitootsies still accept EBT cards?
Make it so that you have to carry the thing in a backpack. Have the normal little magnetic strip that you can slide it through the readers, but make the card way over sized and embarrassing.
You mean, you can't use EBT cards to get into AMUSEMENT PARKS or get drunk?? What a shame...must be Bush's Fault.../s
“a special state commission recommended expanding those restrictions to include a ban on using the cards in nail salons, tattoo parlors, strip clubs and casinos.”
Why?? Sounds like a great place to recruit new Secret Service employees.
And of course someone not long ago used it to get MONEY FOR BAIL (heroin dealer)
All this enforcement will do little.
Say I get $400 per month in food stamps. I go out and buy $400 worth of food monthly for everyone in my household including the room renter I found on Craigslist. They give me $400 in cash.
I take cash and buy, whatever.
You can feed 2+ people for a month with $400 in foodstamps?
No enforcement would do a lot, none good.