Without rules, life would be chaotic. People would do whatever they want, whenever they wanted, without regard to others. (Hey, that sounds like something a fraudster would do.) According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, two brothers totally disregarded the comprehensive set of rules and regulations established by the Department of Agriculture regarding the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), bilking it of approximately $200,000.
The story states that the two men, who owned a convenience store, agreed to comply with SNAP rules and regulations so they could participate in the government benefits program. Those program rules specifically prohibit the exchange of food stamp benefits for cash or ineligible items. (Even though the defrauding duo agreed to these rules, it didn’t stop them from paying 50 cents on the dollar for the benefits or selling non-food items such as cigarettes.)
The two men pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud and wire fraud. They were ordered to repay $199,605 to the government. (The other $945 was seized by the government.) They are each facing up to five years in prison plus a $250,000 fine.
Some fraudsters might argue that rules are meant to be broken. However, in this case the blatant disregard for government regulations was not tolerated. (It just goes to show that if fraudsters would just follow the rules, no one would get hurt and prisons would be empty.)