Gov't taking new steps to combat food stamp fraud

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government is trying to crack down on food
stamp recipients who are ripping off taxpayers by illegally selling
their benefit cards for cash.
The Agriculture Department wants to curb the practice by giving
states more power to investigate people who repeatedly claim to
lose their benefit cards and then ask for replacements.
It is proposing new rules Thursday that would allow states to
demand formal explanations from people who seek replacement cards
more than three times a year. Those who don't comply can be denied
further cards.
USDA officials say they are even getting complaints of people
using websites like eBay and Craigslist to buy and sell food
stamps.
Food stamp fraud costs taxpayers about $750 million a year, or 1
percent of the $75 billion program.


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