WASHINGTON, May 14, 2013 – USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon today said the department is making significant progress towards achieving greater integrity in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In the second quarter of FY 2013, USDA says it has:
· Imposed sanctions, through fines or temporary disqualifications, on 336 stores found violating program rules; and
· Disqualified permanently 536 stores for trafficking SNAP benefits (i.e. illegally exchanging SNAP benefits for cash) or falsifying an application.
“USDA continues to take an aggressive stance on fraud to preserve the integrity of the nation’s largest nutrition safety net,” said Concannon, under secretary for food, nutrition and consumer services. “We have realigned our retailer operations function to further our national compliance efforts, and are working more closely with our state partners to hold bad actors accountable and fight fraudulent activity whenever and wherever it takes place.”
The department says its Food and Nutrition Service is also working with states to strengthen its ability to monitor social media web sites for attempts by individuals to buy or sell SNAP benefits online. USDA says it is providing information to state investigators on how to use free publically available tools to search for posts attempting to buy or sell SNAP benefits.
For more on FNS’s Stop Fraud efforts, click here.
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