Now remember, walmart said they were not going to try and press charges against those EBT folk who were able to get a lot of items for free. Hmmm!
State says it will try to sanction those who abused EBT cards during outage
BATON ROUGE, La. - Saying there is no tolerance for fraud in the EBT
program, Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services Secretary
Suzy Sonnier said Wednesday that her department is seeking approval to
sanction card users who tried to purchase food over their allotted
amount during a recent computer outage.
Sonnier issued a response to a letter from Sen. David Vitter who was
requesting that something be done to customers who had 'stolen' food
during the outage.
On Oct. 14, a computer failure at Xerox, the company that manages the
EBT card purchases, took down the electronic food stamp system for
several hours in 17 states, including Louisiana.
Reports documented the stores' shelves being cleared at two Walmart
locations that didn't institute the normal $50 limit in such situations.
With no limit on the cards showing, people with the cards could
purchase hundreds of dollars of food.
Sonnier said in a statement that her department is asking the USDA
for the right to sanction those who broke the law, saying that
Louisiana's SNAP program allows for a 12-month sanction from the program
for a first offense, a 24-month suspension for a second offense and a
permanent disqualification for a third offense.
"DCFS has no tolerance for fraud or abuse of the SNAP program and
works aggressively every day, using the latest technology, to hold
people accountable. No unauthorized taxpayer dollars were used in
Louisiana during the multi-state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (SNAP) EBT transaction outage."
Weeks after a glitch allowed food stamp recipients to make unlimited
purchases of groceries at stores, including two Walmarts in northern
Louisiana, Sen. David Vitter went public with a call for the prosecution
of the EBT card holders who misused the funds.
“The outrageous theft and fraud at several Louisiana retailers,
including at the Walmart stores in Mansfield and Springhill, is
completely unacceptable,” Vitter said. “Like many citizens, I am
appalled and believe there should be serious consequences for what
occurred; so far, I have heard of none.”
In Mansfield and Springhill at two Walmarts, shelves were cleared
during the outage as some shoppers spent beyond their EBT limits. Scenes
of shopping carts piled high with items were captured on video and
spread on the Internet and newscasts around the country. The carts, full
of items, were later abandoned in some stores once balances were
Vitter asked Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and Secretary
of Department of Children and Family Services Suzy Sonnier to
aggressively to pursue the fraud.
Sonnier said her department is efforting to do just that.
Among his recommendations, Vitter wants to make sure that the
retailers who didn't follow proper protocol are not reimbursed. Sonnier
said that was being done.
During an emergency, according to DCFS, retailers are required to
call the vendor Xerox Corp. for authorization on transactions up to $50
in purchases per card holder.
Vitter wants to "(d)isqualify any EBT beneficiary who knowingly stole
groceries during the outage," and "(w)ork to set up a local task force
to pursue prosecutions of the theft and fraud cases."
"Food Stamps have more than doubled in cost since 2008 and continue
to grow in an unsustainable way, and the events in Louisiana
unfortunately highlight the fraud surrounding the taxpayer- funded
program. I believe there should be serious consequences for what
occurred," Vitter wrote to Caldwell in a letter.
And I can't stand Senator Vitter aka I love the company of Prostitutes with no fcuks given.