Updated Wed, Jan 18, 2012 5:25 am
State Auditor David Yost says a review by his office has found more than 17,000 participants in Ohio's food stamp program since 2006 have sought 10 or more replacement debit cards intended for buying food.
One person sought 75 new cards in that time.
Yost told reporters Tuesday multiple reissuances can suggest potential fraud.
He has urged Job and Family Services Director Michael Colbert to seek statistical information from vendors who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
Yost said a vendor in a typical scam gives the cardholder a percentage of the unspent cash and keeps the difference, diverting food money from hungry people.
A Montgomery County vendor targeted in a recent sting had between $895,000 and $2 million in unexplained food stamp charges on the books.