Fish Fraud

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With easy access to the Great Lakes, one would imagine the freshwater marine life in Michigan to be pretty tasty. But there’s a catch (pun intended). According to NBCNews.com, three food vendors out of Flint, Michigan have been charged with food stamp fraud.

The owners of a local seafood restaurant have been accused of paying Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cardholders to use their cards at grocery stores to buy food for the restaurant and catering business. If what the authorities allege is true, the restaurant paid almost nothing to supply itself with the base foods used to create the dishes. (Although, cheap seafood is always a little fishy…)

A second vendor, a woman who owns a catering business, allegedly ordered bulk orders off an EBT card to supply the operation. Investigators say her alleged scheme came to their attention because she called the Office of the Inspector General for assistance when the cards didn’t work. (A-duuuuhh.)

Obviously these defendants are innocent until proven guilty, and they deserve their day in court. Even so, the article raises a key point: food stamp fraud cheats not only the innocent, hardworking people who rely on the government program, but it essentially steals money right out of taxpayers’ pockets. What’s the moral of this story? We know how food stamp fraud is being perpetrated: what are we doing to stop it?

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on the article entitled, ”Three Flint Business Owners Accused of Food Stamp Fraud,” written by Jane Park and published by NBCNews.com on July 11, 2012.

FLINT — Three Flint business owners are charged with food stamp fraud following an investigation by the Office of Inspector General (OIG).

Chips Supper Club in Flint is known for its live music and cheap eats. Its owners now face felony charges.

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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.