Food Stamp Audit Uncovers Suspicious Purchases

2/5/12 – Wisconsinites who get food stamps for the poor spent 33-million dollars of those benefits in other states last year. And state auditors said they found about 324-thousand dollars in spending that was suspicious. Wisconsin Food-Share recipients are allowed to use their benefits to buy food in other states. And the Legislative Audit Bureau said most cases involve people who live near the state’s borders or those who take trips. But the audit showed that some Food-Share cards were used in Wisconsin on the same day that the cards’ account numbers were used in other states. And 151-thousand-dollars in benefits were spent entirely in states that are not Wisconsin’s neighbors. The audit said the suspicious out-of-state spending was done by just four-hundredths of one-percent of the 382-thousand Wisconsin families and individuals getting Food-Share benefits. Assembly Republican Samantha Kerkman, who co-chairs the Legislature’s Joint Audit Committee, said she was not surprised by the report. She says more background checks are needed for recipients.