FOOD STAMP FRAUD: SNAP DEBIT CARDS USED TO WITHDRAW $330 MILLION CASH

FOOD STAMP FRAUD: SNAP DEBIT CARDS USED TO WITHDRAW $330 MILLION CASH

UPDATED:

Food Items bought for $28.00Did you know that some food stamp recipients are using their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) debit cards to withdraw cash? Yes, that’s correct. They are able to select the “cash-back” option after making a purchase in the same way that you and I can get cash back. The difference? The cash is taxpayer money. These frauds are estimated to cost taxpayers $330 million a year.

It is a true miscarriage of justice when taxpayer’s hard earned money is not only going to supplement government dependency, but also criminal activity!

One couple, Magdalena and Jamal Akhter, who own a convenience store, allows customers to use their SNAP debit cards to get “cash-back” after making a purchase. This is clearly against the rules. The couple would then keep half the money and give the rest to the SNAP beneficiary.

In 2012 alone, the USDA reviewed 15,000 stores around the nation and had to disqualify almost 1,400 of them for violating rules within the program, Fox Business reports.

Similar stories have been discovered around the country. Since the beginning of 2012, 536 stores have already been disqualified from being able to accept SNAP, with 336 more stores facing sanctions for violations.

The Agriculture Department estimated that  illegal food stamp schemes cost taxpayers $330 million a year. The schemes can look as simple as stores selling prohibited items, like liquor or tobacco, in return for food stamp cash, the Marketplace Economy reports.

As the SNAP program grows so will scams, experts say. Rachel Sheffield, policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, says SNAP program spending has nearly doubled since 2008.

Sheffield went on to explain that the biggest fraud facing the food stamp system is when people stay in the system longer then they are eligible. In other words, people will get a job, but fail to report it.

In 2012 alone, there were 46 million dependents in the SNAP program while the government spent about $78 million, according to Fox News. Scamming may just be the straw that breaks this camel’s long overburdened back.

  • messup

    How can a lo income, tenement dweller, inner city resident, having more than 2 siblings in tow, on Sec (8) rent subsidy, WICS program aid for dependent children, state run healthcare system recipient of and receiving regular income tax refunds – have a chronic,debilitating drug addiction problem?
    EBT, SNAP et al….cash for drugs. Simple. This is Obama’s re-election strategy in full bloom. Government assistance programs Gone Wild! Yee-Haw! Amerika, spending it’s way to prosperity with OPM (other People’s Money)! Need proof? A 19-year old student, not yet out of highschool, on national TV can’t read, write or speak English and she was born American. Product of Obama-nation. Pray. Amen. Join a Tea Party, urgently.

    • Monique Mckenzie

      Oh please she is not a product of Obama she’s a product of her environment, if she’s surrounded by people who can’t speak proper English and grew up on the poor side of Florida of course she’s gonna turn out like that! I mean what else would expect this kind of thing has been going on for decades so please, please stop blaming every god damned thing on Obama. So you don’t agree with him that’s fine but calling people like that girl a product of him is crazy. I guarantee to you had she grown up in the area I did, she would of turned out a lot better and be a greater help to the prosecution !

      • messup

        There are two parts to the statement, to wit: 1) the pervasiveness of fraud and abuse of government assistance programs occuring mostly in those segments of society admittedly targeted by Axelrod, Jarrett, Plouff et al in both 2008 election and 2012 (stated by Mr. Roberto Unger, Mr. Obama’s mentor and key strategist…he disagreed with this plan). Then there was the second part #2…offered as a corollary (not proof of #1 in and of itself), that a defendants FAMILY has benefitted from statement #1 TO THE DETRIMENT OF THEIR OFFSPRING’S UPBRINGING. Psychologists, sociologist have tomes written covering this phenomenon in mostly inner city, lo income, tenement dwellers
        Thank you for your your observations…the statement has two distinct parts to it. Re-read it…it’ll become obvious.Pray. Amen. Join a Tea Party.

  • MichaelG23

    When the wicked and crooked run the politics that support them, they get a kick-back in votes. It is the same as giving the voters money at the polls. democrats have done this ever since they where created.

  • Melissa R

    I am NOT pro welfare… but…. this is an inaccurate article. At least in the state of Georgia, you have to be receiving TANF or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in order to get cash. TANF is a work program, you have to go to a class where they help you get a job by performing job searches with you, help you with your resume, do role playing for interviews, find donated clothing so you have interview outfits, etc. That is part of our welfare reform here. You can no longer get a “welfare check” as this TEMPORARY assistance is the replacement. I think it is a good compromise.

    • Lori Bowen

      here in north Carolina too wish people would get INFORMED!! Before they go off. and welfare is not enough for anyone to live off ex one person is like 128. 2 people in the home is 218.

    • Connie Lambert

      That is not what the article is talking about. It’s talking about the scumbags using their EBT cards and choosing the cash back option and taking cash out, splitting it with the scumbag store owner. EBT is supposed to be for FOOD ONLY!!! No cash, no cigarettes, no drugs, just FOOD! This system is a joke.

  • beawesomeb

    a tactic to turn Americans against themselves. This article is turning against the people. yes we should be honest. Those starving will take what they can get honest or not. They need help. It is the government spending that needs to stop. The billions Obama is spending are far worse then the little bit someone gets out of a can of tuna and beans so they can purchase shampoo or something else they need like paying rent. Yes they are being dishonest and the stores are helping them. But if we live in a nation that elects officials who are dishonest we would expect the people to be dishonest as well. We make a thief and then punish them. Stop punishing the people when they have no way to make money. Unemployment problems lead people to become desperate and do things they wouldn’t normally do. Hunger does that. Focus your time on that issue and the food stamp problems will fix themselves. We need more jobs. We need to help small businesses. People need to be able to hire other people for help. We need to help one another instead of condemn the hungry.

    • JasPage

      When was the last time you saw a SKINNY person using their foodstamps?
      Just sayin’ …..

  • 4JCIAMKRC

    I also disagree that it is a product or fault of Obama. I do agree that drug dealers regularly buy this assistance for 50 cents on the dollar. I do agree that many severely abuse the system. I do not think all states allow “cash back” on the cards. Cheap food equals fattening food. If we are going to pay for anything, pay for their childcare in exchange for them going and working! One final thought: the amount of food thrown out daily in this country would solve the world hunger problem. So, if there’s enough food, why are people starving abroad and here? Corruption!

  • Yehn

    And whats wrong with wanting cash?