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Mass., Local Police Vow Crackdown On Welfare Fraud

BOSTON — State officials and local police chiefs are promising to work together to clamp down on abuse of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards used by welfare recipients.

Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz said Thursday the state will share data with police to identify and take action against retailers selling liquor or other items prohibited for purchase with the cards.

Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes said the partnership between police and the Department of Transitional Assistance will help to address an “enforcement gap” in welfare fraud.

“In the past it’s something that, to be really quite honest, it’s been happening under the radar,” Kyes said. “So now that we can join forces together I think we can really have a strong proactive effort to really go after these individuals who violate the law.”

Investigations by the state inspector general and others have pointed to possibly millions of dollars in fraud.

House lawmakers have proposed requiring photo IDs for the electronic cards, but Polanowicz said Thursday that would not be cost effective.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

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  • Marvin Nebbish

    how are they going to crack down on this? we can’t even kick obama’s auntie back to Kenya….

  • J__o__h__n

    How is requiring a photo ID not cost effective?

    • vito33

      How would a photo ID help? It’s the stores that are selling the things they shouldn’t be selling on EBT transactions. They don’t give a damn who they’re selling the stuff to.

  • Marya Dantzer

    Although the lead paragraph cites abuse by EBT holders, the problem discussed, and the crackdown, have to do with retailers. Shouldn’t that be the lead?

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    thats pretty good now if we could just audit the pentagon we would be all set. too bad oboma vetoed that audit

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