Welfare fraud is a bigger problem than liberals want you to believe.
Food Stamp benefits cost $74.1 billion in 2014 and supplied roughly 46.5 million Americans with benefits, which comes out to an average of $125.35 for each person per month in food assistance. Even a fraud rate of under 5% amounts to billions in wasted funds. The most popular method of food stamp fraud isn’t fraudulently claiming benefits, it’s recipients trading in their cards for a fraction of their face value for cash.
Luckily, the government has actually made some wise steps in counteracting that kind of fraud. Back in April, the USDA passed a rule that allows states the option to require SNAP recipients to make contact with the state when there have been an excessive number of requests for EBT card replacements in a year. Requesting excessive replacement cards can indicate that a client is exchanging SNAP cards for cash or other prohibited items.
On the other hand, it doesn’t take many people to do millions of dollars worth of damage when the system is abused in a major manner. In a recent story out of Baltimore, fourteen people were arrested in raids that related to a total of $16 million in food stamp fraud.
Via CBS Baltimore:
The indictments allege the retailers received more than $16 million in federal payments for transactions in which they did not provide any food, a fraud scheme commonly known as “food stamp trafficking.”
As a result of these transactions, they allegedly obtained more than $16,482,270 in EBT deposits for transactions in which food sales never occurred or were substantially inflated and split the proceeds with food stamp recipients.
Here are some of the names of the defendants:
Walayat Khan, 36, of Reisterstown
Shaheen Tasewar Hussain, 60, of Ellicott City
Mulazam Hussain, 54, of Windsor Mill
Mahmood Hussain Shah, 57, of Catonsville
Muhammad Rafiq, 58, of Reisterstown
Mohammad Shafiq, 50, of Gwynn Oak, Maryland; and his daughter,
Alia Shaheen, 24, of Baltimore
Mohammad Irfan, 59, of Nottingham
Muhammad Sarmad, 40, of Nottingham
Kassem Mohammad Hafeed, a/k/a Kassam Mohammad Hafeed, 51, of Baltimore
See the trend? Ten of the 14 are Muslim. Makes one wonder where those millions went. Did they send a portion to terror organizations? Things that make you go “hmmmm.”
The fact that so many are willing to trade in their benefits for cash at a discount reflects another problem with the system; that money with strings attached is worth less than money without strings attached. On the market, food stamp benefits tend to sell for between 50-70 cents on the dollar. If that’s the case, why doesn’t the government just cut out the middleman and pay out 30% less, but in all cash benefits? That way Muslims can’t screw the system and use our tax dollars for terrorist attacks.