Food stamp ‘water dumping’ scam continues

Dec 8, 2004
49,314
21,218
693
Maine
#1


Bottled water packaging is wedged into a Dumpster behind the Shaw's supermarket on Main Street in Bangor last year. A pair of men were purchasing several cases of bottled water and then emptying the bottles in this holding dock area behind the supermarket so they could redeem the empty bottles for deposit money.

BANGOR, Maine — Bangor police were called to Shaw’s grocery store Thursday night to collect information about a regularly occurring food stamp scam that recently was dubbed “water dumping” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA has taken a stand on water dumping — buying beverages with food stamps, dumping the liquid and returning the empties for cash — and in June proposed a new rule that could disqualify recipients who engage in the practice.

The USDA, which administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, has proposed updating the definition of trafficking — a disqualifying action — to include the stealing of benefits.

The federal agency was to stop collecting public comments on the proposed rule at midnight Friday.

“At a time when so many Americans are coping with economic hardship, we need to do everything possible to ensure that all SNAP benefits are used only as intended — to help struggling individuals and families put healthy food on the table,” Kevin Concannon, an undersecretary of agriculture, said in June.

Concannon is a former commissioner of health and human services in Maine.

While the federal agency works to complete the new water dumping rules, state prosecutors and law enforcement agencies in Maine already are working together, Bangor police Sgt. Allen Hayden said Friday.

Bangor police went to the Shaw’s store on Main Street around 7:15 p.m. Thursday to deal with a man buying bottled water and dumping it so he could return the empty bottles for cash, the sergeant said.

The 58-year-old man used SNAP funds allocated to him to purchase the water and pay for the bottle deposit. The man, who did not have an address listed in the police file, was not arrested but his information was sent to the Maine Attorney General’s Office, Hayden said.

“The AG’s office has asked us to help track this,” the sergeant said. “They’re looking to see if it’s a violation.”

State prosecutors asked in January that water dumping reports be forwarded, Hayden said.

“Our welfare fraud prosecutor has reached out to local law enforcement and has encouraged them to report fraud to the AG’s office,” Brenda Kielty, special assistant in the Attorney General’s Office, said Friday. “It’s part of our larger effort to combat welfare benefit fraud.”

A provision under the 2008 Farm Act specifically forbids the use of SNAP funds to get cash by buying products for the container’s redemption value, but until recently no penalties existed.

Maine and 10 other states require a bottle deposit ranging from 5 to 15 cents on recyclable beverage containers.

The SNAP program provides funding to feed more 44 million people each month across the country, half of whom are children, the USDA website states. In Maine during 2010, more than $348 million in SNAP funds were distributed to more than 113,230 households.

The Bangor Daily News put a spotlight on water dumping in August 2010 after a pair of men purchased $86.79 in bottled water from the Shaw’s in Bangor, dumped it out behind the store and returned the empties for $24.

Store employees at the time described the practice of water dumping as common, a sentiment that is shared by police.

“It’s something that has been going on for a while now,” Hayden said.

The man who was questioned on Thursday night in Bangor “claims he was doing it to get gas,” the sergeant said.

To comment on the proposed rule, go to www.regulations.gov and search under proposed rules with the regulation identifier number 0584-AD97. The comment period was to end at 11:59 p.m. Friday.

Those who see a misuse or waste of federal SNAP funds can call the national fraud hot line at 1-800-424-9121.

Link


To get gas riiiiight.... is gas code for Oxi's?
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
24,554
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693
Loveland, CO
#2
They should really get creative and return the bottles to Michigan to get the 10 cent deposit.
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,284
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The Inland Empire State
#7
They should really get creative and return the bottles to Michigan to get the 10 cent deposit.
They busted some racket not too long ago that was collecting them in Vegas and then driving into California for the 5 cent deposit. Found semi trailers full of the things.

And why the fuck are you allowed to get bottled water like that on food stamps? Don't taxes pay for clean drinking water out of a faucet these days?
 

Ballbuster1

In The Danger Zone...
Wackbag Staff
Aug 26, 2002
103,485
16,807
919
Your house, behind the couch
#8
Stand outside a ball park and sell em for a buck a bottle.
Way more money than dump and return.

Oh wait, that would be too much like working.
 

CousinDave

Registered User
Dec 11, 2007
25,297
198
393
Ohio
#9
And why the fuck are you allowed to get bottled water like that on food stamps? Don't taxes pay for clean drinking water out of a faucet these days?

because the beverage companies have lobbied the USDA for this corporate welfare
 

CousinDave

Registered User
Dec 11, 2007
25,297
198
393
Ohio
#10
Stand outside a ball park and sell em for a buck a bottle.
Way more money than dump and return.

Oh wait, that would be too much like working.


a buck a bottle - that's like 1995 prices
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Donator
Jan 12, 2010
36,495
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Northern California
#12
And why the fuck are you allowed to get bottled water like that on food stamps? Don't taxes pay for clean drinking water out of a faucet these days?
Exactly. Bottled water is a prime example of a convenience purchase, something that taxpayers shouldn't be providing other people.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
24,554
8,726
693
Loveland, CO
#13
I'd be ok with letting them use food stamps to refill the 5 gallon jugs at the windmill shaped kiosks.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
42,636
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#14
typical of these shittys is the amount of effort they put into not working they could get a fucking job.....
 

Creasy Bear

gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
Donator
Mar 10, 2006
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#16
You can get money back for plastic bottles?
I was joking before when I suggested that you never leave your parent's basement, but when you say some clueless shit like this right here, It makes me think I hit the nail on the head.
 

Stormrider666

Hell is home.
Mar 19, 2005
28,150
2,824
673
Bronx, NY
#17
Stand outside a ball park and sell em for a buck a bottle.
Way more money than dump and return.

Oh wait, that would be too much like working.
To be perfectly honest, I think more people are doing this than the "water dumping". There are always people in my neighborhood selling bottles of water for $1.00.
 

Ballbuster1

In The Danger Zone...
Wackbag Staff
Aug 26, 2002
103,485
16,807
919
Your house, behind the couch
#19
To be perfectly honest, I think more people are doing this than the "water dumping". There are always people in my neighborhood selling bottles of water for $1.00.
I see a butt load of people selling water in the lots by the
Philly sports complex. They almost out number the scalpers.
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
Donator
Mar 30, 2006
69,623
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#20
I see a butt load of people selling water in the lots by the
Philly sports complex. They almost out number the scalpers.
I never considered this. I almost respect the people who do this since it is almost like an honest job. Almost.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
22,541
13,853
608
Idaho
#24
typical of these shittys is the amount of effort they put into not working they could get a fucking job.....
Next they will sue for disability benefits because they got the carpal tunnel from unscrewing all those caps.
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,284
7,454
438
The Inland Empire State
#25