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CHART 1.–PERCENTAGE AND CLASSIFICATION OF IMPROPER DETERMINATIONS DISCLOSED IN STATES' QUALITY

CONTROL REVIEWS OF NON-PUBLIC-ASSISTANCE CASES FOR THE 6 MONTHS ENDED JUNE 30, 1974

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Alabama
Alaska.
Arizona
Arkan.35
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware.
Washington, D.C.
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho.
Illinois.
Indiana

13

1 12

6 13

8 18 20

7 14 13 13

6 3 4 5 5 7 12

1 1 1 2 1 4 7 4 1 2

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1

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1
1

31 18 28 33 24 27 33 23 29 33 26 34

9 23 22 29 22 22 34 19 32 34 17 29 27 29 24 26 15 33 26 24 32 14 26 17 26

11 12 12 13 9 9 6 12 13

9 18 10 9 6

Kansas
Kerkucky.
Louisiana,
Mairie.
Maryland
Massachusetts.
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi.
Missouri
Mortana
Nebraska.
fierada.

18 19 11 14 15 22 21 17 23 23 32 8 9 22 11 25 15 23 17

5 27 27 22 29

9 20 41 11 10 17 27 23 18

7 16

4 27 20 16 27 15 26 7 8 27 10 5 7 14 14

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2

2
1

2
3

New Jersey.

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8 22

7 18 17

9 13 16

7 14 18 17 10 10

7 22

9 18

5 15 8 4

New Mexico.
New York
North Carolina.
North Dakota.
Ohio.
Okiatoma..
Oregon
Pennsylvania.
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota.
Tennessee.
Teras.
Utah.
Vermont.
Virginia
Washington.
West Virginia,
Wisconsin.
Wyoming

Overall.

2

2 2

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48 39 31 25 26 21 24 33 12 25 25 15

17 3 2 14

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2 8 4

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Did not report.

CHART II.-PERCENTAGE OF SAMPLED PARTICIPATING HOUSEHOLDS CONSIDERED INELIGIBLE AS A RESULT OF

STATES' QUALITY CONTROL REVIEWS OF NONPUBLIC-ASSISTANCE CASES

January to

June
1973

July to
December

1973

January to

June 1974

State

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Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California.
Colorado
Connecticut.
Delaware
Washington, D.C.
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii.
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Towa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland.
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi.
Missouri.
Montana.
Nebraska
Nevada.
New Jersey
New Mexico.
New York
North Carolina.
North Dakota
Ohio.
Oklahoma
Oregon.
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina.
South Dakota.
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont.
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia.
Wisconsin
Wyoming

18 19 11 14 15 22 21 17 23 23 32 8 9 22 11 25 15 23 17

5 27 27 22 29

9 20 41 11 10 17 27 23 18

7 16

4 27 20 16 27 15 26 7 8 27 10 5 7

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1 Did not report,

PROSPECT OF FRAUD

Definite client errors made up a small part of the waste situation in the Food Stamp Program.

Mr. Samuel Bauer, Director of the County Welfare Department in Cleveland said:

I would like to take a minute to comment on a portion of my statement, "to administer the program justly.” This is where I feel a large improvement in the Food Stamp Program can be made. We are facing a situation where the rules and regulations which are continually being added, amended, and deleted are making it increasingly difficult for the low income person to become eligible for food stamps, while at the same time increasing the likelihood of the person not in need to obtain assistance fraudulently. In addition, those same rules and regulations make it increasingly difficult for those of us who administer the program to provide adequate service to those citizens who are in need and eligible.

Food stamp regulations question many areas of an individual's financial situation, which is at best marginal in their importance. When the computations are completed, that individual is often found ineligible. Yet another individual applies for assistance and does not mention these areas of his financial situation and is found eligible.

Clearly some fraud does exist in the program. The news media has reported many instances where fraud has been exposed by both private and public efforts.

The Department of Argiculture has effectively pointed up some of the problems they have encountered.

Officials of the Department of Agriculture have testified before Congressional Committees that the food stamp program has almost no incidence of fraud.

In June 1973, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Clayton Yeutter testified before the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs that the food stamp program had been "remarkedly free from fraud.” In the first three quarters of 1973, he said, “the percentage of fraudulently participating households, as related to total participating households, equaled 24 thousandths of one percent.

In May 1975, the Agriculture Department, in a report to the Senate Agriculture and Forestry Committee, indicated that the degree of fraud in the program has not increased significantly since the Yeutter testimony. The report stated that during fiscal 1974, claims were made against 17,480 food stamp recipients for bonus coupons that were received in excess of their entitlement. The dollar value of these claims was approximately $3.8 million. In the first two quarters of fiscal 1975, claims were established against 13,952 households for a total dollar value of $2.3 million.

The following tables provide a breakdown of these claims by State
for fiscal 1974 and the first half of fiscal 1975.

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322
369
540
992
63

9
51
553
175
84

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82, 461.75
95, 071. 30
191, 389.00
190, 802, 50
11, 185, 25

3,785,50
12,725.00
58, 228,50
37, 011.50
7, 124.50

684

Midwest region-Con.
$597.50 Nebraska.

204.00 Ohio.
8, 367.50 Wisconsin.
8,521.00
5, 344.50 Total..
57, 446.75
17,329.00 West-central region:
90,583.25 Arkansas.
42, 623.50 Colorado

Louisiana.
231, 017.00 New Mexico

North Dakota

Oklahoma
215, 758.55 South Dakota
149, 755.90 Texas

35, 652.00 Utah.
188, 245.20 Wyoming
559, 518.50
161, 870.00 Total.

91,234.00
506, 968.90 Western region:

Alaska.
1, 909, 003.05 Arizona

California.

Hawaii.
96, 086.50 Idaho.
148, 349.05 Oregon
24, 084.65 Washington.

1,068.50
49, 076. 30 Total.

10, 864.00
162, 755, 50

Grand total

199

786
2, 345

591

349
2, 188

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918

9
12
719
170

8,748.75

3,155.50
198, 527. 48

527.00

850.00
72,085.84
21, 912.75

486
773
172

17
360

62
428

1, 867 305, 837.32
17, 480 3,810, 877,92

CLAIMS AGAINST FOOD STAMP RECIPIENTS, JULY-SEPTEMBER-FISCAL YEAR 1975

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CLAIMS AGAINST FOOD STAMP RECIPIENTS, OCTOBER-DECEMBER-FISCAL YEAR 1975

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The USDA report continued: Collections received during fiscal year 1974 for application to recipient claims totaled $1,505,253.64. This figure is not directly related to the specific claims established in any given period since collections are, in most cases, made in installments over a period of several years. Collection data for fiscal 1975 is not Tet available.

Although most of the claims established against recipients were for suspected fraud, some are the result of collections of over-issuances due to administrative

Approximately .08 percent of the average monthly participating caseload was found to be participating on a fraudulent basis in fiscal year 1974.

error.

PROSECUTION

The Food Stamp Act provides a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and imprisonment for up to five years for food stamp fraud involving coupons worth $100 or more, which is a felony; for fraud involving coupons worth less than $100, which is a misdemeanor, the maximum penalty is a $5,000 fine and imprisonment for up to one year. Applicants for food stamps must be informed of these penalties during the application process. In its report in response to Senate Resolution 58, the Agriculture Department asked that the misdemeanor fine be reduced from $5,000 to $1,000. This would allow more frequent prosecution because under the reduced penalty, misdemeanor cases could be tried in U.S. Magistrates Courts.

Currently, most food stamp fraud prosecutions are tried in State and local courts. The Agriculture Department outlined the status of prosecution to the Senate Agriculture Committee:

57-400-75

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