Alaska became the third state today to be snared in a Food Stamp fraud investigation and agreed to pay back to the Federal Government $2.5 million in ill-gotten funds. Earlier this Summer, Wisconsin and Virginia bureaucrats had to fork over $7 million each for the same violations.
The Food Stamp Program---now known as SNAP---is jointly funded by State governments and the US Department of Agriculture. The USDA funds administrative expenses for the states, including quality and eligibility controls. States are rated by the USDA and paid bonuses to states who report the lowest error rates.
Since the States do the reporting themselves, there is ample opportunity for cheating; as apparently the Deep State never bothered performing any audits. All three states were found to have been in violation variously every year during the entire Obama Administration, for example.
The three States outsourced quality-control to Osnes Consulting, a shady enterprise run by Revolving-Door, former welfare bureaucrat, Julie Osnes. Federal investigators found that Osnes used a test that was purposely skewed to show quality and eligibility improvements falsely. Thus states received performance bonuses to which they were not entitled.
The State bureaucrats are blaming all this on Osnes, but the Federal complaints show that they were well aware of what was happening. In the Virginia settlement last April, Virginia Department of Social Services admitted in Court:
"Some VDSS quality control workers objected to the methods used by Osnes Consulting because they believed that their methods lacked integrity, injected bias into the quality control process, and violated USDA requirements. They communicated these concerns to their supervisors. VDSS admits that the former VDSS Quality Control Manager pressured and intimidated these employees to force them to adopt these methods including threatening termination, providing negative performance reviews, taking away teleworking and flexible scheduling privileges, and engaging in other forms of retaliation and harassment."
Just remember when we see the Corporate Media and the so-called 'Resistance' out squawking against Trump: that this is the kind of government they want to see in America again.
US Attorney Joseph Harrington's remarks after the Alaska settlement summarize the new Administration's attitude: "While I am deeply troubled that these actions happened within a state agency entrusted with assisting vulnerable and needy residents, I am heartened that Alaska has resolved its liability and cooperated with our investigation. Together with our partners in the Civil Division and the USDA, we will continue to hold accountable all entities---including government entities---that misuse and wrongfully obtain SNAP funding."