State Auditor Sounds Off On Food Stamp Fraud

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Ohio's Auditor of State said Tuesday that fraud was plaguing Ohio's federally subsidized food stamp program.

State Auditor Dave Yost said that he was not against giving those in need assistance, but some people have sold their food stamps or EBT cards for pennies on the dollar.

“This whole system breaks down if we have crooked shop owners – crooked vendors,” Yost said.

A major hint to this problem is the number of cards that are reissued each year. EBT cards are reissued when they are reported lost, damaged or stolen, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.

Yost said that in the past five years, 17,000 people had their cards reissued more than 10 times. In all, 230,000 cards were reissued in those cases.

"My feeling is that 17,000 people getting 10 or more cards is a serious problem," Aker reported.

Yost called on the Ohio Job and Family Services to collect more data to figure out how to crack down on the problem.

Joel Potts, who represents county agencies that partner with ODJFS to administer the food stamp program, said that more could be done.

“We think things the auditor brings up are good tools that we can use to stamp out any fraud or abuse that may be occurring,” Potts said.

ODJFS sent a statement to Yost on Tuesday that said department officials looked forward to working with the Auditor to make the program better. 

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