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Fla. Officials Crack Down On $100M Lost In Food Stamp Fraud

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File photo of a store that accepts food stamps. (credit: Getty Images)

File photo of a store that accepts food stamps. (credit: Getty Images)

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida officials are cracking down on fraud in the food stamp program through a new system that verifies client’s identities before an application is processed.

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said Wednesday that more than $100 million was lost to fraud in the food stamp program from 2010 to 2011.

Department of Children and Families employees who administer the program will now use the same technology as banks to verify an individual’s identity. This includes asking questions about the recipient’s financial history and residence.

Food stamps are delivered through electronic debit cards.

The agency is also monitoring social media sites like Craigslist to stop people from buying and selling the debit cards.

Other steps include monitoring multiple requests for replacement cards and automatically closing certain cases when benefits expire.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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