Authorities arrested and charged two dozen people for carrying out $50,000 worth of food stamp fraud, according to investigators with the Rhode Island State Police.
State police investigators said they looked into the unauthorized use of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) funds after Rhode Island’s Department of Administration identified a total of $48,966.12 in stolen benefits, WPRI reported. Authorities identified and arrested 24 suspects, charging 23 of them with food stamp fraud.
Police later dismissed charges against one of the suspects, a 59-year-old woman from Newport.
Of the remaining 23 suspects charged with food stamp fraud, 22 suspects face an additional charge of fraudulently obtaining assistance, two suspects face charges of obtaining money under false pretenses, and one suspect faces a charge of filing false documents.
State police said if these suspects are convicted of fraud, they could face up to five years in prison and be ineligible to receive food stamps for up to 24 months.
The Rhode Island State Police crackdown on food stamp fraud is not the largest food stamp bust by state and federal law enforcement.
The Justice Department charged 12 Floridians for running an alleged $20 million SNAP fraud scheme in October 2017.