Oh, SNAP. It’s a program that millions of Americans rely on for food security, but it’s also highly vulnerable to fraud. In 2018, the Government Accountability Institute published a report on how SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and other benefits, known collectively as Electronic Benefit Transfers (EBTs), were used in a variety of fraud schemes, including supporting terrorist activities. On the latest episode of the Drill Down podcast, Peter Schweizer and Eric Eggers revisit that report with new revelations about EBT fraud.
Earlier this month, law enforcement in Los Angeles charged more than a dozen individuals with EBT fraud totaling roughly $400,000 in “cloned” EBT cards. The use of cloned cards left legitimate beneficiaries without funds as they were transferred to the illegal copies. These sorts of schemes are not new, as GAI’s report shows similar frauds dating back to 2010.
Unfortunately, this kind of criminal epidemic is not just up to law enforcement to stop. Policymakers have the tools to make such fraud schemes more difficult and taxing to carry out, but whether leaders in Washington have the willpower to make those changes is another matter entirely.