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$69 million in California welfare money drawn out of state
Los Angeles Times ^ | October 4, 2010 | Jack Dolan

Posted on 10/04/2010 6:49:48 AM PDT by artichokegrower

More than $69 million in California welfare money, meant to help the needy pay their rent and clothe their children, has been spent or withdrawn outside the state in recent years, including millions in Las Vegas, hundreds of thousands in Hawaii and thousands on cruise ships sailing from Miami.

State-issued aid cards have been used at hotels, shops, restaurants, ATMs and other places in 49 other states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, according to data obtained by The Times from the California Department of Social Services. Las Vegas drew $11.8 million of the cash benefits, far more than any other destination. The money was accessed from January 2007 through May 2010.

Welfare recipients must prove they can't afford life's necessities without government aid: A single parent with two children generally must earn less than $14,436 a year to qualify for the cash assistance and becomes ineligible once his or her income exceeds about $20,000, said Lizelda Lopez, spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services.

Round-trip flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu on Orbitz.com Sunday started at $419 — more than 80% of the average monthly cash benefit for a single parent of two on CalWorks, the state's main aid program.

"How they can go somewhere like Hawaii and be legit on aid … they can't," said Robert Hollenbeck, a fraud investigator for the Fresno County district attorney's office. "This is money for basic subsistence needs."

The $387,908 accessed in Hawaii includes transactions at more than a thousand big-box stores, grocery stores, convenience shops and ATMs on all the major islands. At least $234,000 was accessed on Oahu, $70,626 on Maui, $39,883 on Hawaii and $22,170 on Kauai.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: ca; fraud; welfare
As a citizen of California who got up at 4:30 AM this morning to head off to work this just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. No Hawaii, cruise ship, Florida or even Los Vegas vacation for me.
1 posted on 10/04/2010 6:49:53 AM PDT by artichokegrower
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To: artichokegrower

And I am sure that none of these losers are having their benefits yanked as a result.


2 posted on 10/04/2010 6:51:45 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: artichokegrower

The government gives these people cash.
They shouldn’t then turn around and complain about how and where they spend it.


3 posted on 10/04/2010 6:53:08 AM PDT by counterpunch (End the Government Monopoly!)
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To: artichokegrower
As a citizen of California who got up at 4:30 AM this morning to head off to work this just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. No Hawaii, cruise ship, Florida or even Los Vegas vacation for me.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".....

So shut up and keep pulling that wagon Comrade.
4 posted on 10/04/2010 6:53:49 AM PDT by Kozak (USA 7/4/1776 to 1/20/2009 Reqiescat in Pace)
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To: artichokegrower

Wow.. trips to Hawaii, cruises, Florida vacations... Las Vegas... must be some GENEROUS welfare being doled out from the dwindling ranks of California taxpayers.


5 posted on 10/04/2010 6:54:12 AM PDT by ScottinVA (The West needs to act NOW to aggressively treat its metastasizing islaminoma!)
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To: artichokegrower

Methinks this is just the tip of the iceberg.


6 posted on 10/04/2010 6:54:18 AM PDT by Sparky1776
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To: artichokegrower
Welfare recipients must prove they can't afford life's necessities exquisite luxuries without government aid.

There. Fixed.

7 posted on 10/04/2010 6:55:31 AM PDT by ScottinVA (The West needs to act NOW to aggressively treat its metastasizing islaminoma!)
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To: artichokegrower; Kozak
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".....

This has evolved into: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his WANTS".....

8 posted on 10/04/2010 6:56:23 AM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. But he does have him in his MY FAVES.............)
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To: artichokegrower

Cruise ship? I want a pony.


9 posted on 10/04/2010 6:57:07 AM PDT by Drango (NO-vember is payback for April 15th)
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To: artichokegrower
California should guarantee a life of travel and recreational ease to it's most loyal Marxist DemoRat voters, after all they can vote by absentee ballot as much as necessary.
10 posted on 10/04/2010 6:57:14 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (Sarah and the Conservatives will rock your world.)
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To: ScottinVA

California got rid of food stamps because of the negative stigma associated with their use and gave welfare recipients the EBT card (electronic benefit transfer). It’s basically a credit card.

What is Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT?

Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT, is the new system that food stamp recipients in California will use to access their food stamp benefits. A majority of California counties will also use EBT to distribute CalWORKs benefits. Some counties will also use EBT for General Assistance/General Relief (GA/GR), Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), and Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) benefits.

Under the new EBT system, instead of receiving monthly food stamp coupons or welfare checks, recipients will be issued a plastic debit-like card which they will use to pay for groceries and in some counties, to get cash benefits. California’s EBT system is being implemented at different times, county by county, through the end of 2004. An updated implementation schedule can be found at the State’s EBT Project Web site, www.ebtproject.ca.gov.


11 posted on 10/04/2010 6:59:36 AM PDT by artichokegrower
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To: artichokegrower

California Hukilau`d on Maui


12 posted on 10/04/2010 6:59:48 AM PDT by bunkerhill7
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To: artichokegrower

As a citizen of California who got up at 4:30 AM this morning to head off to work.
Every mexican thanks you.


13 posted on 10/04/2010 7:00:23 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: artichokegrower

California Double-Downed in Las Vegas


14 posted on 10/04/2010 7:02:08 AM PDT by bunkerhill7
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To: artichokegrower

California Victim of Miami Vice


15 posted on 10/04/2010 7:03:06 AM PDT by bunkerhill7
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To: artichokegrower

“Under the new EBT system..........”

One would think it would be very easy to denied access to those accounts outside of California.


16 posted on 10/04/2010 7:04:29 AM PDT by Sparky1776
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To: artichokegrower
As a citizen of California who got up at 4:30 AM this morning to head off to work this just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. No Hawaii, cruise ship, Florida or even Las Vegas vacation for me.

Dude, from someone getting the money I would like to say do you know how hard it is partying all night and just getting back to my cabin at 4:30 am? I don't even get up by the time you leave work to go home. Got to get my rest to party all night. Dude, like get a life! O' thanks for the money....../S

17 posted on 10/04/2010 7:06:08 AM PDT by Lockbox
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To: artichokegrower

This has been going on for decades, but with state governments awash in cash, there was no incentive to sniff it out and stop it.

But now, cash strapped states are finding it essential to use a fine toothed comb to ferret out abuse. State employees have an incentive to do this now, because they need to prove their worth and if money isn’t found somehow, their jobs could be on the chopping block.


18 posted on 10/04/2010 7:06:56 AM PDT by randita (Visit keyhouseraces.com to find GOP House candidates who need your support to knock off a DEM.)
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To: pnh102
And I am sure that none of these losers are having their benefits yanked as a result.

The people who investigate welfare fraud were laid off.

19 posted on 10/04/2010 7:07:04 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: Lockbox
Dude, like get a life! O' thanks for the money....../S

There was no need for the /S thing. That you said, "thanks", was a dead giveaway that you're not a real sponge.

20 posted on 10/04/2010 7:08:59 AM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: artichokegrower
An anti-fraud unit in Orange County, which won praise from state officials last year for saving the state millions, has since had to slash its budget and lay off 15 investigators, said Paul Bartlett, commander of the county district attorney's Bureau of Investigation.

Those cuts saved $900,000 in operating expenses but allowed "an estimated $9.6 million in suspected fraud payments out the door,"

SMASHING! HEAD! AGAINST! TABLE!

21 posted on 10/04/2010 7:10:41 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: Texas Eagle
I was in line behind a woman at the grocery store on Saturday. She had a case of Corona beer and six limes. (I counted them.)

She paid for the case of beer with two $20.00 bills. For the 6 limes she used a State of Illinois EBT card. I was as close to going sh** house rat crazy as I've ever been....

22 posted on 10/04/2010 7:13:16 AM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: artichokegrower

Those cards may be “pre-loaded” with money, but I would assume each is hooked to some account number, thereby identifying the user of each card. How hard could it possibly be to figure out who was misusing their card?


23 posted on 10/04/2010 7:13:17 AM PDT by Explorer89 (Could you direct me to the Coachella Valley, and the carrot festival, therein?)
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To: Lurker

I feel your pain. I always get behind those people. I’d like to know why none of their money ever goes to deodorant.


24 posted on 10/04/2010 7:15:27 AM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: randita
State employees have an incentive to do this now, because they need to prove their worth and if money isn’t found somehow, their jobs could be on the chopping block.

Are you on drugs?

25 posted on 10/04/2010 7:16:36 AM PDT by Drango (NO-vember is payback for April 15th)
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To: artichokegrower
I'd also like to see the data on how much welfare money is being wired out of the coffers of ALL our states to help support relatives y muchos bambinos in the old countries, i.e., Mejico y Sud America.

That giant sucking sound you hear.........

Leni

26 posted on 10/04/2010 7:18:08 AM PDT by MinuteGal (Are any Americans better off than they were 4 trillion dollars ago?)
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To: Red Badger; artichokegrower; Kozak
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs

From each according to his ability, to each according to his WANTS

"From each according to his ETHICS and ability, to each according to his WANTS.

27 posted on 10/04/2010 7:20:31 AM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: artichokegrower

How many of those fraudsters have fake nails, fancy weave and braid hairdos, gold teeth, cell phones and cable or satellite at home?
I am not opposed to helping the poor, but many of our poor are NOT really poor.


28 posted on 10/04/2010 7:22:41 AM PDT by kalee (The offences we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we engrave in marble. J Huett 1658)
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To: artichokegrower
Supposedly, in CA, farmers can't find US citizens willing to work the fields.

That would be a perfect opportunity for these welfare cheats to make restitution. Give them a choice between working the fields to pay it off, or prison.

Politicians are such idiots.

29 posted on 10/04/2010 7:54:22 AM PDT by FlyVet (")
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To: Explorer89
How hard could it possibly be to figure out who was misusing their card?

Not hard at all except that California, in their infinite wisdom, only investigates accounts that have been used out of state for anywhere from 30-90 consecutive days. Who the hell vacations in Vegas for a month? Hawaii for three months? Withdrawing money from an ATM in Vegas on Saturday and Sunday and you're back in California on Monday won't trigger an investigation.

In their further infinite wisdom, investigations are hobbled by the fact that California decided to save the state money by laying off the state employees whose job it was to investigate welfare fraud.

30 posted on 10/04/2010 8:40:18 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: Drango
Are you on drugs?

You mean you don't believe that there is going to hope and change?

31 posted on 10/04/2010 8:42:36 AM PDT by randita (Visit keyhouseraces.com to find GOP House candidates who need your support to knock off a DEM.)
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To: Texas Eagle
That you said, "thanks", was a dead giveaway that you're not a real sponge.

Damn outed.......

32 posted on 10/04/2010 1:07:54 PM PDT by Lockbox
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To: artichokegrower

I have a feeling that a lot of these cards are being exchanged for drugs and it’s the drug dealers spending the cash in Vegas and elsewhere.


33 posted on 10/04/2010 1:11:21 PM PDT by Ditto (Nov 2, 2010 -- Time to Clean House.)
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To: artichokegrower

On top of the fact that California doesn’t even have this money to begin with...


34 posted on 10/04/2010 3:04:46 PM PDT by Qbert
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To: Sparky1776
One would think it would be very easy to denied access to those accounts outside of California.

Three lines of code max, in any language.

35 posted on 10/04/2010 3:11:13 PM PDT by meadsjn (Sarah 2012, or sooner)
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To: meadsjn

Not a computer expert, that sounds fairly simple. I think the same should apply to Soc Security - if you leave the country beyond x amount of days - say after 180 days, no access.


36 posted on 10/04/2010 3:18:36 PM PDT by Sparky1776
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To: ScottinVA

“Wow.. trips to Hawaii, cruises, Florida vacations... Las Vegas... must be some GENEROUS welfare being doled out from the dwindling ranks of California taxpayers.”

Airfare, courtesy of the state of California.

Hotel, courtesy of the state of Oregon

Meals, courtesy of the state of Washington

You can live a good life on welfare if you are audacious enough.


37 posted on 10/04/2010 3:19:27 PM PDT by RFEngineer
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