Pennsylvania Leads the Way in Busting Food Stamp Fraud


I’m in the business of hearing about fraud, reading about fraud and frankly…pulling my hair out about fraud, so it’s always an exciting day when I hear about a victory against fraud. And, according to an article from The Mercury today is that day.

The article reports that Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare removed 653 people from the food stamp beneficiary list after determining that they did not actually live in Pennsylvania. (Wait, living in Colorado doesn’t qualify me for Pennsylvania benefits?) The department will save nearly $927,000 over the next six months.

Gary Alexander, secretary of the department, declared, ”This is a victory for all Pennsylvanians who legitimately use and need our social safety net and for the hardworking taxpayers who pay the bills.” (A+ Gary, A+)

On May 1, Pennsylvania reinstated an ”asset test” that will make it more difficult for fraudsters to qualify for benefits they don’t deserve. ”We will leave no stone unturned when it comes to rooting out fraud, waste and abuse,” Alexander said.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania deserves one big pat on the back for the steps it’s taken against food stamp fraudsters. This is the kind of diligence that we need to see nationwide.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” was based on the article entitled, ”Out-of-State Food Stamp Recipients Stamped Out by Pennsylvania,” written by Eric Boehm and published by The Mercury on May 30, 2012.

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare removed more than 600 people from the food stamp rolls this week after determining they were fraudulently accessing benefits from other states.

A review of out-of-state welfare recipients turned up 653 people who were using the department’s Electronic Benefits Transfer system, or EBT, to collect benefits through the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP, otherwise known as food stamps.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.