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Understaffed food stamp fraud prevention units and lax anti-fraud security on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards have created a thriving underground market where food stamp recipients illegally sell and trade their taxpayer-funded benefits, often using online websites like Backpage.com, Craigslist, or social media.
That is one of the findings of a new report by the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) examining how the poverty industry has become a massive profit center for politically-connected corporations like JP Morgan, who have made at least $560,492,596 since 2004 to process the EBT cards of food stamp recipients in 24 states and two U.S. territories.
But state and federal agencies—not EBT processors like JP Morgan—are in charge of policing food stamp fraud. That means JP Morgan doesn’t use the same kinds of anti-fraud security protections commonly found on credit cards in its administration of EBT benefits. Furthermore, EBT processors may charge a fee when food stamp recipients report a lost EBT card and need a replacement, when welfare recipients withdraw their cash benefits or make balance inquiries at out-of-network ATMs, and even on customer service calls.
Report: Illegal Underground Food Stamp Market Thrives Online
For a single person that is a lot of money for food.
...corporations like JP Morgan, who have made at least $560,492,596 since 2004 to process the EBT cards of food stamp recipients in 24 states and two U.S. territories.
Originally posted by jidnum
The whole foodstamp system is so half a$$ed.
They would get $1000 worth of benefits. That to me is just absurd.
This week, Congress is under pressure to pass the 2012 farm bill before the current legislation expires on September 30. About every five years, Congress pushes through a farm bill, ostensibly a big bundle of agriculture subsidies that also funds food stamps. But the name is misleading. Nearly 80 percent of the $1 trillion the 2012 bill would spend over the next 10 years would go to the food stamp program.
So, what’s going on? Although many people are poorer now than they were 10 years ago, the growth of the food stamp rolls can’t just be chalked up to an abysmal economy. Ten years ago, close to 12 percent of Americans lived below the official poverty line; in June, that number was 15 percent. While the share of the population in poverty increased only 25 percent, spending on food assistance grew 400 percent.
One constant: The food stamp participation rate exceeds the unemployment rate in 48 states.
The increase in food stamp enrollment comes after a decade during which federal guidelines for the program became ever more generous.
In 1996, welfare reform ended most legal immigrants’ eligibility for food stamps. The 2002 farm bill reversed that and created incentives for increased enrollment. The 2008 farm bill raised the minimum benefit and further expanded eligibility, allowing recipients to deduct the full cost of childcare from their incomes to qualify for benefits.
Under President Obama, this trend has accelerated. Between January 2009 and June 2012, America lost a net 1.3 million jobs and added 15.1 million people to the food stamp rolls. The 2009 stimulus bill raised maximum food stamp benefits 13.6 percent and suspended time limits for jobless adults without dependents. Indeed, the Department of Agriculture and Democrats often cite food stamps as a form of stimulus. “Everyone wins when eligible people take advantage of benefits to which they are entitled,” reads one USDA pamphlet.
Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, says SNAP is structured so as to maximize enrollment: “Right now under the program, all the money comes from the federal government, and the states administer it. That means the states have no incentive to curtail fraud and abuse.”
On the contrary, states get bonuses for enrolling more people in SNAP, not for helping them get off. The federal government spends about $50 million a year rewarding states for increasing enrollment. The extra cash doesn’t have to be used for administering SNAP.
Originally posted by randomname
everybody picks on the least of us for alleged abuse.
income tax is mandatory, so its not "your" money.
Yes it is our money, it is everyone's money.
second, why should henry kissinger and 4 star generals deserve every luxury imaginable with "your" money, but some down on their luck person has to have their life constantly monitored and the so called charity controlled to the last calorie.
They shouldn't. The public funds should be properly managed and fraud, waste, and abuse at all levels needs to be rooted out.
so many millionaires and billionaires are enjoying the good life because of what the government is offering them and sleep well and guilt-free at night, but if someone takes every advantage of food stamps possible, he's a scum bag.
If they are being given taxpayer funds they need to be cut off, but there are many pwople who are wealthy through hard work and innovationb.s. and hypocrisy.
its easy to be a millionaire if you have government contacts to get you access to federal funds.
No it isn't. The competition is fierce for contracting.
edit on 16-10-2012 by randomname because: (no reason given)