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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Washington State bill to tackle prepaid card fraud

In January 2011, Washington State Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, introduced a package of legislation designed to combat fraud, abuse and waste within state-run public-assistance programs. One of the bills, Senate Bill 5327, would reportedly limit the use of electronic benefits transfer (EBT) prepaid cards to locations deemed beneficial to the child of the parent receiving financial assistance.

"There is evidence of EBT cards being used at firearm dealers, liquor stores, tattoo parlors, tobacco outlets and strip clubs," Carrell said in a statement. "These cards are supposed to be used for the benefit of children – not adults – and children are not using these cards at strip clubs or to buy alcohol. We need to make certain the funds are being used in a manner intended by taxpayers."

A companion piece of legislation, Senate Bill 5329, would create a special investigations department within the state auditor's office to investigate fraud and abuse. end of article

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