Skip to comments.EBT Fraud and Abuse
Posted on 01/06/2013 10:39:05 AM PST by doug from upland
EBT fraud and abuse: Looking past your state
By Todd Shepherd / July 24, 2012 / 7 Comments Fraud is skyrocketing as states shift from issuing paper-based food stamps to plastic, electronic benefits transfer cards preloaded with a monthly limit of cash intended only for food purchases.
Examples of fraud prompted Congress to take action, with President Obama signing a law in February intended to prevent EBT cardholders from spending their money on tattoos and at strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos.
Heres a state-by-state listing of some EBT fraud stories:
Alabama: Not fraudulent, but are EBT cards becoming a status symbol? In Alabama, a place called the Rose Supper Club gives you $5 off the cover price if you show your EBT card. Its a promotion called Food Stamp Fridays.
Arizona: A 15-month investigation found roughly $700-K in EBT fraud. 18 indictments.
California: $69 million in EBT funds withdrawn outside the states borders in recent years, including almost $12 million withdrawn in Las Vegas.
Colorado: EBT cards used at strip clubs, casinos. Denver Post editorializes that attempts to crack down on fraud might not be worth it.
Connecticut: 27 state workers fired, 10 others retire after investigation finds massive insider fraud by government bureaucrats.
Florida: Investigators find that sales of EBT cards at less than full value results in a $2-million swindle.
Georgia: Man pleads guilty to EBT card scam valued at $4.6 million, believed to be largest food stamp fraud ever in the state.
Illinois: Sting on LINK cards believed to have generated $40,000 monthly revenue for one of the families accused of participating in the alleged fraud ring.
Indiana: State worker accused of issuing EBT cards to fake recipients. Also, police arrest five in EBT scam believed to have netted $100-K.
Iowa: Grocer, a former City Council member, convicted of witness tampering during food stamp investigation and trial. In a separate story, Iowa inmates found to have been illegally receiving food stamp benefits while incarcerated.
Kansas: Authorities believe as many as 7,000 fraudulent users of EBT cards are costing the state $22-million.
Louisiana: Eight arrested in food stamp fraud. In late 2011, the state said it had 474 active investigations into possible EBT fraud/abuse.
Maine: Tip of the iceberg investigation nets five indictments.
Maryland: Believed to be No. 2 in the nation in EBT card fraud, with one in four card applications showing evidence of fraud.
Massachusetts: Stores accused of buying EBT cards at discounted prices, and hooking up EBT card users with crack cocaine dealers.
Missouri: Welfare cards being spent in such distant places as Florida and Hawaii.
New Hampshire: Report says 10 percent of all registered food stamp recipients live out of state.
Ohio: Audit finds 33,000 replacement EBT cards ordered in one year. [M]ore than 1,500 people in Hamilton County have ordered 10 replacement cards or more since 2006.
Texas: State faced $4 million in federal fines for errors in issuing food stamps.
Washington: Store owner sentenced to 21 months in prison: $170,000 in her bank account on the day of the raid.
Wisconsin: Nine county workers suspected in multi-year fraud that scammed $300-K or more.
I don’t mind helping children in need. No one should starve in this country. But those needing this assistance should be taking public transportation, buying food at supermarkets instead of restaurants, and should not have the luxury of iphones and 52” big screens. I do not want to pay for that.
This is why MASSIVE cuts in the federal budget are justified.
Waste, fraud, and abuse. It’s everywhere. If the money were cut — really, seriously cut — there would still be enough money to take care of the people who need to be taken care of. And if those truly needy people didn’t get the help they need and deserve, then it would be the fault of the thieving federal bureaucrats — not because the productive folks who contribute the fruits of their labor aren’t “paying their fair share”.
go back to paper food stamps...
Here in Ohio, when I use my debit card at Giant Eagle supermarket, the machine always asks if I want cash back. I think the limit is 40 or 60 dollars. If one uses an EBT card, do they get that same “cash back?” offer? Buy a pack of hot dogs, and walk out with 40 bucks?
Why can’t we have ‘food stamp only’ stores? EBT only accepted there and they only carry food, no candy or crap.
I am so sick of seeing people by their food with EBT then buy a bunch of crap with cash. If you have enough $$ to send on junk food you sure as hell don’t need my $$ too.
When I got gas at Walmart a couple of days ago I noticed on the pump a sign that said something like
EBT CASH CARD ACCEPTED FOR PAYMENT
Howie Carr,a long time Boston columnist and talk host, had a show just the other day about welfare fraud in Massachusetts.He told a story about the state having mailed,first class,a letter to every welfare recipient in the state encouraging them to register to vote.He said that the Boston Herald,his paper,filed a Freedom Of Information Act request for details on how many of those letters were returned undelivered (the state didn't want to give up that info).The Herald got the info and something like 19,000 of the letters were returned "address/addressee unknown".I think he said that that represented something like 20% of the letters sent out.It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what those 19,000 recipients are all about.
If one uses an EBT card, do they get that same cash back? offer?
Yes then they buy cigarettes, booze gas drugs etc..
Right before Christmas, I literally witnessed a stinking, homeless bum use his EBT to buy an 18-pack of Bud at Rite Aid. There’s a reason why I don’t give $$ except FR.
Obviously, the law has a loophole about buying from liquour stores when you can buy booze at any store in America. Anywhere and everywhere in L.A., they boast EBT CARDS ACCEPTED from Pollo Loco to Fallas Paredes to ROSS stores.
i believe of people want to help other people, the do it through their own private, voluntary donations, and that they get a tax deduction for the entire amount donated. i do not believe in government confiscating money from anyone to give as charity. government charity is not charity. it is forced confiscation and they give it to who they want.
i am for people deciding who to give their own money to, in what amounts, when they want to, and getting the full deduction for it. never government.
As was pointed out in another thread, if a Congressman tries to do the slightest bit to fix any spending problem, 5,000 lobbyists will descend on his office. With Welfare, they’ll also picket his district office and eventually they’ll bus in a hundred shabby-looking Welfare recipients to picket his home and trample his wife’s (and next-door neighbor’s) daisies.
In some cases this is true - but those people have 2 different accounts on the EBT card. One is for food and only food (food stamps) and the other is what we used to call welfare and is now call TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.)
EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer - and all forms of "welfare" are included on the card. One can not (legally) get cash if one is only receiving food stamps, but can if they are receiving TANF.
If these vermin just put half the effort into legitimate endevors as they do in scamming systems, they’d probably be quite legally successful.
Thanks doug from upland.
We can also stockpile this stuff to use for foreign aide operations and for disaster relief.
Payroll taxes should be deducted from all taxpayer funded benefits like welfare, food stamps, and unemployment. They will eventually benefit from SS and Medicare/Medicaid programs. Let them pay in. Just consider it a 6.2 percent across the board pay cut for free loaders.
We have a 'WIC only' store in my town. WIC (Women, Infants, Children) is much more strict on what you can buy - only healthy, non luxury items, like baby formula, milk, orange juice, oatmeal, etc. The store carries only these items.
Someone I work with has a niece, a single mother with 3 young children (different fathers). Right before obammy’s first election she was receiving $700 per month in EBT money but had received notice that the amount would be reduced.
After obammy won, the state welfare agency did not reduce her benefits but did in fact increase it to $900 per month. I feed my family of 4 ADULTS on less than half of that.
What does this single mother do with all of that EBT money that she couldn’t possibly spend on food? She takes a friend shopping, uses the EBT card and takes 50% in cash for the amount of the groceries. Multiply this by millions on food stamps and you understand why we are broke. This insanity must stop but we know it won’t!
When I go to the grocery store today, I find that my money only buys two-thirds of the groceries that it bought only four years ago. I always wondered what happened to the other one-third of my groceries. I see now who has them.
Not a problem. I am as opposed to the fraud and abuse of the welfare system as the next FReeper, but I am also equally opposed to those who actually do utilize the system properly being lumped into the same category as the fraudsters because some folks just don’t understand the system.
Please don’t think I am accusing you of such, I am not. I just used the comments as a jumping off point. I personally know someone who was convicted of massive welfare fraud and I just hate to see those who actually need it and use it properly maligned because of people such as that woman.
Hungry? Come to the warehouse and get just enough staples to carry you through the week. Good, healthy, nutritious food that you take home and cook. Probably help with the obesity problem with the “poor”.
Sounds reasonable. I used to love getting the wellfare cheese for short money, real short. Made the best Grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, short dog of Irish Rose maybe a buck at the time.
No, scamming is their only skill. It was their parents only skill and the only thing they could teach their children.
To scam all one has to do is stand in the appropriate line and tell the same lies they have being hearing from their family and friends all of their lives.
They don't have to be able to read or write or think as the welfare worker does everything they can to pass out tax payer's money because these are their people.
It is now a self perpetuating process and if it break down the recipients will have to turn to crime as it is the only other "skill" they have been taught.
I hate spell check on this phone.
I saw that for the first time yesterday.
My wife works at a WMSC as CSR.....
EBT fraud is 100 x worse than anything you an imagine....
I can tell horror stories that will make you spit nails ...
Anyone who thinks the broken “system” can be fixed is living on a different planet...
The only fix is crash and burn ....
Ha ha, that’s a good one.
(well, I don’t know what those initials stand for)