SPECIAL REPORT: Food Stamp Fraud
Updated: Thursday, February 21 2013, 09:59 AM EST
COLUMBUS -- Ohio EBT cards are the modern day form of food stamps. Last
year a report from Ohio Auditor Dave Yost found abuse in the system.
Over a five year period, 17,000 Ohioans received ten or more replacement
There are different types of scams out there, but the
selling of cards may be the biggest problem. Auditor Yost says, ”A lot
of those cards are ending up on the black market.” Recipients will sell
their cards for cash for less than they are worth then claim they lost
their card. Yost says, “You lose your card once or you lose your card
twice, okay, we can understand that. We had people who were losing their
card eight to ten times."
Auditor Yost issued a number of
recommendations to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to cut
down on the abuse. Ben Johnson with the ODJFS says his department took
the recommendations to heart, "We'd be the first to tell you—you can
always do things better. We have absolutely no tolerance for the fraud,
but the vast majority of people are children, their parents, they're
ABC6 News obtained early results of the Auditor’s
recommendations. Some of the improvements the state has made include:
Those that have requested four or more cards in the past year have been
contacted, A daily report identifies all recipients with ten reissued
cards, and the state is now participating in data mining. Data mining is
a detailed examination of EBT transactions. Investigators look at after
hour and out of state transactions as well as too many transactions
within an hour. The increased efforts are working. In 2012, the number
of reissued cards decreased dramatically to just 144.
spokesman Ben Johnson is quick to remind people, "The vast majority of
people accepting food assistance are good people. They're in a difficult
position. They're using the program exactly like it was intended."
To hear what Dave Yost has to say about Data Mining Click Here
Reporter: Mike Kallmeyer
Web Producer: Kellie Hanna