Monday, August 24, 2015


ABC Enforcement Director Boyce "Cheater" Hamlet, wants to branch out and investigate "Food Stamp" fraud. Hamlet is so out of touch with the real world that he doesn't realize that the last "food stamp" was issued in 2002 and the Department of Human Services is the state agency that investigates fraud with the SNAP program for both recipients and retailers (more on that in a moment).

Public Law 100-435, the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988 was signed into law September 19, 1988 and mandated the use of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and the old Food Stamp program was subsequently replaced by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

In emails obtained from the ABC, Enforcement agent Jessie King tells Hamlet that he has received reports that people are purchasing alcohol with "food stamp".

As previously mentioned, the Arkansas Department of Human Services is the state agency that investigates incidents of suspected recipient  and retailer misuse or fraud.  Usually the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services takes over when a retailer is involved to investigate and prosecute those retailers that do not follow program rules or violate laws.


It would be extremely difficult if not impossible for a SNAP recipient to purchase a prohibited item with an EBT card because retailer is required to scan items to be purchased with an approved processing system that kicks out illegible/prohibited items and will not permit the purchase of the item with the EBT card.

The retailer could find eligible items that cost the exact amount of the alcoholic beverage and scan that item in place of the alcoholic beverage.  That would take an extreme amount of time and would probably not be worth the retailers time and effort  to make a small amount of money.  Not to mention that the retailer is responsible for taxes to be paid on alcoholic beverages that he purchases and sells, whereas items purchased with an EBT card are not taxed. The retailer would actually loose money of they sold alcoholic beverages and used an EBT card for payment in the scheme described in this paragraph.

A more likely scenario would be that a SNAP recipient would trade food purchased with their EBT card to another individual for alcohol. The deal would go something like this: Dude #1: "Bro,...I'll buy some chicken with my EBT card and trade it to you for a six pack of PBR". Dude #2: "Sounds good man". Winner, winner chicken dinner.

ABC Enforcement would be wasting time and effort to  try and take on responsibilities of another state agency and one of the federal government and just concentrate of doing the essential functions they are tasked with.

Maybe when DFA finally gives Boyce the boot, he can sign up for SNAP and get an EBT card to use.