Cost of Food Stamp Fraud More Than Doubled in Obama's First Term

Food stamp fraud has more than doubled since Barack Obama took office in 2009. In 2011, according to the USDA, food stamp fraud was approximately $750 million. The type of fraud noted was derived from selling Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to food retailers for cents on the dollar.

The USDA stated, "In 2011, program costs totaled $75.7 billion. Using the most recent data on trafficking available, USDA estimated that trafficking would be 1 percent of $75 billion, or approximately $750 million." 

But in the years 2006-2008, the USDA stated, "Trafficking diverted an estimated $330 million annually from SNAP benefits – or about one cent of each SNAP dollar – between 2006 and 2008. About 8.2 percent of all stores trafficked.”

Kevin Concannon, U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, acknowledged the problem:

This is $750 million that isn't being used to provide food to individuals and families and that issue isn't lost on us. We want to maintain the confidence of American taxpayers because everyone is challenged in this economy - the payers as well as the folks who are benefiting from the program.

In January 2009, there were 31,939,110 Americans receiving food stamps; in November 2012, the number rose to 47,692,896, almost a 50% increase.


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