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14 Arrested For $16 Million In Food Stamp Fraud


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The right is not against food stamps it is against there abuse.

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 USDAs 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.

As a result these transactions, they allegedly obtained more than $16,482,270 in EBT deposits for transactions in which food sales never occurred or were substantially inflated and split the proceeds with food stamp recipients. The food stamp program is intended to put food on the tables of needy recipients, not to put money in the pockets of greedy criminals, said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. Honest storeowners work hard to earn a profit by actually selling food, and food producers and distributors also benefit. People who play by the rules deserve to know that criminals who defraud them will be held accountable.

 

The defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud; a maximum of five years in prison for conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and wire fraud; and a maximum of five years in prison for food stamp fraud.

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The right is not against food stamps it is against there abuse.

 

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 USDAs 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.

 

As a result these transactions, they allegedly obtained more than $16,482,270 in EBT deposits for transactions in which food sales never occurred or were substantially inflated and split the proceeds with food stamp recipients. The food stamp program is intended to put food on the tables of needy recipients, not to put money in the pockets of greedy criminals, said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. Honest storeowners work hard to earn a profit by actually selling food, and food producers and distributors also benefit. People who play by the rules deserve to know that criminals who defraud them will be held accountable.

 

The defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud; a maximum of five years in prison for conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and wire fraud; and a maximum of five years in prison for food stamp fraud.

 

The Obama justice department is on its toes. I bet those store owners were Trump supporters.

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