California Student Football Players Accused of Fraud Just the Tip of the Iceberg

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Fraud comes in all shapes and sizes and it also comes – as this story from the Associated Press illustrates – at varying degrees of athletic ability. At the heart of the story are ”as many as” two dozen football players from Fresno State University who according to ABC-30 Television have been accused of receiving benefits totaling $39,267. Not an exceptionally large number when we’re so often talking about millions and millions, but here’s the kicker: that’s money which was supposed to go to people in the county’s Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. That’s right, food stamps.

But the really troublesome thing about this story – which is chiefly concerned with the fate of the football players – is the conclusion it reaches: their actions are not violations of the NCAA because the fraud wasn’t a special privilege gained because they were football players. No. Apparently there were many more Fresno residents and those even beyond Fresno who now stand accused.

No program is invulnerable – even food stamps are a target. Public officials take note: this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Fresno St. football players tied to welfare fraud,” by Tracie Cone published by the Associated Press, Sept. 9, 2011.

Fresno, CA – As many as two dozen football players from Fresno State University have been implicated in a welfare fraud investigation involving a county Department of Social Services worker accused of filing for false benefits for them and others.

It’s the latest in a series of problems that have plagued the university’s athletic department over the decades.

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