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State Auditor Warns About Food Stamp Program Abuse

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

The state auditor has taken a look at the food stamp program in Ohio and thinks there might be some abuse. 

Auditor Dave Yost looked at several factors in the federal food stamp program:  things like even-dollar transactions, multiple purchases within an hour and other unusual activities. He found signs of potential abuse but says it wasn’t widespread.

“It is a relatively small percentage. The trouble is the program is so big that even a small percentage of problem has a big price tag,” he said.

Yost says he doesn’t have information needed to do a more thorough investigation of the federal program. Lisa Hamler Fugitt with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks says the food stamp system is not immune to fraud and says she applauds efforts to crack down on it.

But she says the vast majority of food stamp recipients really need them and should not have to suffer because of the wrongdoing of others.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.