March 11, 2020

The OIG’s Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) unit completed 67 investigations and presented another 31 investigations for either administrative disqualification hearings (14) or prosecution (17).

The unit used data analytics to identify a trend of approximately 4,000 SNAP recipients receiving an excessive number of replacement cards. This fluctuation of receiving four to 50 replacement cards in a 12-month period is a possible indicator of fraudulent activity. Many of the cases involved people who are homeless and receive an average of $192/month in benefits. OIG staff initiated investigations and shared the results with HHS Access and Eligibility Services.

The unit continues to monitor trends regarding the selling of SNAP benefits for illegal activities. One of the trends involves business owners illegally buying SNAP cards for 50 cents on the dollar and using the SNAP benefits to buy supplies for their food service businesses. Another fraudulent activity involves SNAP recipients trading their benefits for cash to pay for illegal gaming.

To read case highlights from the unit’s work this past quarter, read our latest quarterly report: