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Food stamp fraud investigations

Many people here in Wisconsin receive benefits from a government program. There are a variety of such programs in the state. One such program is FoodShare, Wisconsin's food stamp program.

Under certain circumstances, a food stamp recipient may find themselves under government investigation in relation to their food stamp activity. Being subject to a food stamp fraud investigation can give rise to a great deal of anxiety for a food stamp recipient. Such investigations can also be very impactful. Depending on what happens in the investigation and what conclusions investigators reach in it, a food stamp recipient could end up facing food stamp fraud charges. Individuals who have been targeted for such an investigation should consider having a discussion about their rights and options with a skilled fraud crime defense attorney.

Many different things can lead to the government conducting a food stamp fraud investigation. Currently, a bill is before Wisconsin's legislature which would add into law an automatic trigger for food stamp investigations when a person makes a certain number of food stamp card replacement requests in a year.

The bill would put into law a firm policy regarding replacement card requests. Under the bill:

  • One to three new card requests a year would not trigger anything.
  • Four new card requests a year would trigger a person being sent a notification indicating that they could be subject to a fraud investigation in the future.
  • Five new card requests in a year would trigger a fraud investigation. 

The bill, along with two other food-stamp-related bills, was recently passed by the state's Assembly.

If this bill ends up being fully passed into law, what effect do you think it would have on how often food stamp fraud investigations occur here in Wisconsin?

Sources: WIFR, "Wisconsin Assembly Passes Bills Targeting Food Stamp Fraud," Nov. 3, 2015

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