Saturday, November 23, 2013
Bodega owners busted in WIC fraud scheme
Homeland Security Investigations agents and police arrested more than two dozen store owners across the city Wednesday in welfare benefit fraud schemes totaling millions of dollars, authorities said.
Law enforcement officials say that instead of providing food and necessities, store owners allegedly cashed in Woman, Infant and Children (WIC) benefits and split the money with benefit recipients.
Some store owners allegedly cashed up to 20,000 vouchers per month, taking 20 cents on the dollar, law enforcement officials said. Officials said one store on Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens, processed more than 25,000 coupons in one month.
An average store usually collects about 200 coupons a month, authorities say.