Diversification Of Funds

Young woman receives a canned food item from food bank. An unrecognizable volunteer hands her the canned food item.

Diversification of funds is the process of allocating capital in a way that reduces the exposure to any one particular asset or risk. And that is certainly what Bridgette Ford was trying to do in her Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) fraud scheme when she filed seventy-one SNAP benefit applications in four different states, using seven different names.

Ford received fraudulent SNAP benefits from Missouri for herself from May 2018 through January 2020. She also received SNAP fraudulent SNAP benefits from Indiana, Iowa, and Illinois for herself. However, during that time, she also submitted fraudulent SNAP benefit applications SNAP for Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, and Illinois using the names, Social Security numbers, and other identity information stolen from six victims. The Department of Social Services approved all the fraudulent applications she made.

She listed her own email address and phone number on each fraudulent application, but she claimed the applicants were homeless. Stop and think about that for a minute. Why can’t any government program catch any application commonalities? Ford directed that all communication from the Department of Social Services regarding the fraudulent applications to be sent to her home address. When state officials required applicant interviews, she either assumed the identity she had stolen and conducted the interview herself, or she instructed one of her acquaintances to do it. Apparently, no one questioned in the interviews why she was homeless with a home address. Nor did they question her disqualifying prior drug convictions.

In total, Ford received $66,684 in fraudulent SNAP benefits. But the fraud doesn’t’ stop here. When Ford received the fraudulent EBT cards for the six accounts, she sold them for cash (or gave them to others to sell for cash) to buyers who then used the benefits on the cards. After they used the EBT cards to make purchases, they returned the cards to Ford…for more fraud.

Great job by the Department of Social Services.

Today’s Fraud Of The Day is based on article “Kansas City woman sentenced after using stolen identities to get over $60K in SNAP benefits” published by KSHB News on February 23, 2023

A Kansas City, Missouri, woman was sentenced to federal prison after admitting to using stolen identities to file Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications.

Bridgette Ford, 62, used six stolen identities to file 71 SNAP applications and received $66,684 in SNAP benefits from May 2018 to January 2020. During that period, she used the victims’ names, social security numbers and other identifying information.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.