If you are a longtime reader, you know that following food stamp fraud cases is a side interest of mine. Go here to my large archive on past cases. I haven’t written much lately on the topic because reporting on the refugee program is about all I can handle.
I continue to urge one of you to write a blog solely on the topic of immigrant fraud such as food stamp fraud and other welfare fraud—a topic that could keep you busy every day and do our country a great service.
And, besides, your blog could be hopping (and fun to write!) because I suspect we will see more crackdowns now that the Justice Department is run by Jeff Sessions.
The type of fraud mentioned here in the Breitbart story (called trafficking) works like this: Customer with SNAP benefits comes in to store wanting cash (for drugs?). Manager or owner pays customer 50 cents on the dollar in cash and then seeks reimbursement from the government (you!) for the full $1 dollar supposedly spent on food.
Here is Breitbart:
Twelve Floridians have been charged with running an alleged $20 million food stamp fraud scheme in one of the “largest” food stamp fraud crackdowns in history, according to the Justice Department.
Federal prosecutors told the Miami Herald that the 12 defendants who reportedly defrauded the federal government of $20 million were charged with food stamp fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The list of those charged include Mohammed Alobaisi, 37; Mohammad Alteen, 33; Joe Ann Baker, 56; Reynold Francois, 38; Omar Hajje, 43; Jalal Hajyousef, 42; Andy Javier Herrera, 24, and his father, Javier Herrera, 49; Ihab Hassouna, 44; Maria Jerdana, 36; Hasan Saleh, 59; and Yousef “Joe” Homedan Zahran, 60.
“In this instance, eight small convenience stores in South Florida committed a staggering amount of fraud in a relatively short amount of time,” said Karen Citizen-Wilcox, special agent in charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of the Inspector General, in a press release.
Store owners and employees who commit food stamp fraud face steep consequences.
No, I would not call a few months in jail “steep consequences.” And, how does someone pay restitution when they have sent your tax dollars out of the country (which is often the case)?