Thursday, October 3, 2013

Eastern Market Businesses Investigated and Charged With Food-Stamp Fraud

Breeda O’Leary, Esq.

A recent sweep of numerous establishments located within the Eastern Market shows that the U.S. Attorney’s Office continues to investigate and pursue fraud throughout the metro Detroit area.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, Internal Revenue Service, Michigan State Police, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Home Security Investigations, executed a search warrant against several businesses suspected of participating in food stamp fraud. 

The alleged fraud included the sale of food stamps for as low as fifty cents on the dollar.  An individual who receives food stamp benefits is provided an EBT card and a pin number for the EBT card.  At a retailer, the recipient scans its EBT Card and enters its four-digit pin at checkout in order to pay for its food-product purchase.  Here, it is alleged that retailers were purchasing a recipient’s EBT Card and pin number, providing fifty cents for every dollar the business charged to the EBT card in food-stamp benefits.  As a result of this fraud, the retailer would be reimbursed $1.00 in cash from the government for a food product it never provided to the EBT Card recipient.  In exchange, the retailer would only provide fifty cents in cash to the EBT Card recipient.

Nearly 47 million people nationwide receive food assistance, making food-stamp fraud a serious concern for the government.  The sale and purchase of food-stamp benefits, also known as “trafficking” is a common form of fraud within the program.
If you are a business or individual that has been charged with fraud, or if you think you may be the target of an investigation concerning fraud, contact the experienced and professional fraud team at Fausone Bohn, LLP for sound legal advice.  Contact Breeda O’Leary-Holder at (248) 380-0000 or online at

To read the article about the recent food-stamp fraud sweep of businesses in Eastern Market, please visit:



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