When people think of white collar crime and fraud, they may often picture a wealthy criminal sunning himself on the beach, having absconded with millions of dollars in stolen money. Traditionally, fraud is associated with big stock deals, disingenuous insurance claims or other big-ticket scams.
However, Florida officials are targeting a different kind of asset in their most recent crackdown on white collar crime. The state recently announced an initiative to crack down on fraud within its food stamp program.
The state has introduced a new system that verifies clients’ identities before processing their applications for benefits. They will use the same technology employed by banks to verify a user’s identity. This will involve asking users about their financial history and residence.
Food stamps may be vulnerable to fraud because they are delivered via debit cards that are reloaded electronically. This enables users to order replacement cards if one gets lost or share their card with other people.
The Department of Children and Families will monitor accounts with multiple requests for replacement cards and close some cases when the benefits expire. The site will also monitor social media to detect people reselling their cards.
If you are facing criminal accusations or charges, consider speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney. He or she can help you assess the charges, build a strong defense and work toward the best possible outcome in your case, whether that comes in the form of a lesser sentence, a plea deal or complete dismissal of charges.
Source: WCTV, “Florida Cracking Down on Food Stamp Fraud,” Jan. 23, 2013