Millions of dollars in food stamp fraud have been discovered in southwest Florida, according to an investigation by WBBH.
The Division of Public Assistance Fraud under Florida’s Department of Children and Families discovered $20,719,036 in fraud in FY 2015-16, WBBH reported.
Division of Public Assistance Director Jack Heacock said the most common type of fraud the agency sees is when people falsify their household information when applying for or renewing SNAP benefits.
“False reporting, when they apply for benefits they don’t tell the whole truth,” Heacock said.
Those who try to game the system by falsely applying for benefits are not the only ones responsible for defrauding the government.
Retailers in southwest Florida are also responsible for defrauding the government by trading cash for food stamps.
According to the investigation from WBBH, 16 stores in southwest Florida have been permanently or temporarily disqualified from the SNAP program over the past two years because of this cash for food stamps scheme.