Friday, January 13, 2017

Food Stamp Fraud Committed by Children and the Dead

Sometimes you come across a story that is so outrageous that you can’t believe it’s true.  I’m not talking about this Donald Trump golden showers nonsense.  I’m talking about scams that are so brazen that you can’t help but laugh. 

It seems like every big caper comes at the expense of the taxpayer.  The latest involves stores owned by children and the dead.  Here is an excerpt from the Free Beacon.

We found that 3,394 authorized SNAP retailers (retailers) used Social Security Numbers (SSN) that matched SSNs of deceased people,” the inspector general said. “Additionally, 193 retailers listed owners who were not at least 18 years of age. While FNS did have some controls to edit or verify SNAP retail owner information, these controls were not adequate to ensure owner information accuracy.”

Between October 2013 and June 2015, the inspector general identified 3,394 stores owned by 1,819 people who were using SSNs listed on the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File.

“These 3,394 retailers redeemed about $2.6 billion in SNAP benefits,” the inspector general said. The 193 businesses that reported child owners redeemed $41 million in food stamps.

“Without accurate retail owner data such as birth dates and SSNs, [the Food and Nutrition Service] FNS has little assurance that retailers are who they say they are,” the inspector general said. “This could leave the program open to abuse by disqualified individuals and others wishing to hide their identity for possible fraudulent purposes.”

“If indeed some of these retailers are wholly owned by deceased persons or persons under the age of 18, this situation could leave FNS with little recourse other than disqualification in the event that adverse action needs to be taken against a particular retailer,” the inspector general added

I remember the Weinberg Medicaid scandal in the late 1980’s.  This family owned a couple of clinics where they engineered a $16 million theft.  It was the biggest case of fraud in the 22 year history of Medicaid.

The Weinbergs should have had children registered as owners.  You can’t prosecute minors.


No comments: