Southwest Ohio county goes after food stamp fraud

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — A special squad is targeting food stamp fraud in a southwest Ohio county.

The squad formed in July includes one full-time and one part-time Butler County sheriff's detectives, an assistant prosecutor and a county Job and Family Services employee. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/U6td76 ) the squad's investigations have led to 17 arrests and headed off nearly $200,000 in misspending.

Sheriff's Lt. Mike Craft says much fraud comes from drug users, who sell benefits cards to get cash for drugs.

With about one in seven Americans getting food aid after the Great Recession, authorities say it's important to make sure it's being used as intended.

The county investigations have caused 24 people to lose benefits.

State officials say every county has a food stamp fraud investigator, but not to Butler's extent.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

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