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SNAP! And it’s gone

June 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Blog

It’s mind blowing that crooks can steal so much money through a program created to help people with so little. This is yet another case of food stamps fraud, as reported by Valley News Live.

Two owners of a neighborhood grocery store in Fargo, North Dakota, pilfered more than $365,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by fraudulently exchanging Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for cash. (No, they didn’t hide it in the wood chipper.) The store-owners would charge a customer’s/co-conspirator’s EBT card for a given amount of money. Once the SNAP program had reimbursed the store for the amount it charged, its owners would give a portion of that cash to the EBT cardholder and keep a cut for themselves.

But they got a little sloppy (and even greedier). According to the report, more than once they maxed out a single EBT card – meant to cover a month’s worth of food – in a single charge. Of course, they were caught, and now are serving home confinement sentences (no more trips to the store for them), must forfeit the money they stole to the USDA and must complete a number of community service hours.

Food stamps aren’t distributed in cash for many reasons; mainly, to ensure that they are solely covering the cost of food. Moreover, they are meant to ensure that our poorest and most vulnerable citizens have something to eat, not to line the pockets of some random business owner. $365,000 could feed a lot of people – a lot more than two employed crooks in North Dakota.

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