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Cracking Down On SNAP Benefit Trafficking

/ WDAC

HARRISBURG – The PA House approved a bipartisan proposal that would help prevent trafficking of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits. Senate Bill 1127, sponsored by Lancaster County Sen. Ryan Aument, would create stronger penalties against individuals and businesses that unlawfully trade goods or services in exchange for SNAP benefits. The legislation creates a new penalty in an amount greater than $2,500. Under the bill, an individual who is convicted of SNAP trafficking could be found guilty of a second-degree felony and be required to pay restitution of up to three times the amount of the fraud they committed. Last year, the state Inspector General uncovered a scheme involving a Harrisburg restaurant trading drugs for EBT cards and buying thousands of dollars of supplies from a food wholesale club to be resold for profit. The plot involved the fraudulent use of nearly 60 different SNAP recipients’ benefits. The bill would also allow the Inspector General to report SNAP traffickers to local and state licensing entities to pursue debarment. The measure now goes to the governor’s desk.

SEN. RYAN AUMENT

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