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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Buying Food Stamps

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: SC

    Hi! I overheard my roommate talking to a friend about buying someone's food stamps. I have no idea if the transaction actually occurred, or who the seller is. We share the basics (milk, butter, flour, etc.) and I wanted to know if I'm liable for anything. I'm aware that there are hotlines, but I don't have any substantial evidence to report. My concern is my being charged for not reporting for worse--receiving benefits from said (possible) transaction.

    I've asked her about it but she will not give me any details. I've warned her that such is illegal.

    Also: if the seller is caught, can my roommate be charged for not reporting and knowingly purchasing something illegal?

    I realize that this may sound silly, but I just wanted to make sure. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,704

    Default Re: Buying Food Stamps

    you heard a conversation of a possible crime. Not only do you not know if the crime took place, even if you did, you would not be required to report it. As to you being liable for anything: unlikely unless they can prove you knew it took place and you knowingly benefited from the situation.

    your roommate can be charged with purchasing the food stamps and using them since they are not issued to your roommate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,069

    Default Re: Buying Food Stamps

    My concern is my being charged for not reporting for worse--receiving benefits from said (possible) transaction.
    You have no duty to report this, there's nothing to charge you with.

    Also: if the seller is caught, can my roommate be charged for not reporting and knowingly purchasing something illegal?
    If the seller is caught and s/he gives up the names of the people she sold to, yes, your roommate can be charged with food stamp trafficking - unauthorized use of SNAP benefits in amounts under $100 is a misdemeanor, over $100 is a felony.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    massachusetts
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Buying Food Stamps

    you should encourage your friend to give up her criminal ways. this isnt a crime to mess around with.

    prosecutors are basically politicians. they want headlines...good headlines. nothing stirs the masses like welfare and food stamp fraud. so, if caught, a prosecutor would love to prosecute...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: Buying Food Stamps

    I thought debit/credit card technology was being used these days instead of stamps. Not in SC?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,069

    Default Re: Buying Food Stamps

    I thought debit/credit card technology was being used these days instead of stamps. Not in SC?
    It's not hard to abuse the debit card system. The person doing the selling sets a price - say they have $200 available in benefits, and they are willing to sell them for $150 in cash. The buyer gives the seller the cash, in exchange for the SNAP card and PIN. When the buyer is done, they return the SNAP card to the seller. Cashiers do not ask for secondary ID when you're using a SNAP card.

    I'm aware of several loose "co-ops" in my area that do this in order to obtain cash for gasoline, utility bills, and the like. Illegal as hell, but not at all secret.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,560

    Default Re: Buying Food Stamps

    Seller of the food stamps can be charged with welfare fraud. Same as the person buying.

    Yes, cards are used nowadays, but as easy as "lending" a friend your "credit card". Slide the card through at the register, enter pin number, purchase complete.

    Or make a purchase from a list, sell at a slight discount - you have instant cash. Your friend has food at a discount.....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    massachusetts
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Buying Food Stamps

    any stores buying food stamps, or exchanging them for non-food merchandise will be prosecuted in the federal courts if caught.

    but i would caution those who jump to judgment. cash benefits are put on the same card as snap. so, yes, they could be buying non-food items with an ebt card legitimately.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Buying Food Stamps

    Mis use of food stamps is a federal crime enforced by the dept of agriculture.......enforcement is a joke as is medicare fraud - the administration in washington especially NOW doesn't want to alienate any potential Obama voters by harassing them over some mickey mouse food stamp violation.

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