HAMILTON (AP) - A special squad is targeting food stamp fraud in a southwest Ohio county, and authorities say it's already headed off nearly $200,000 in what would have been spending on things other than food aid.
The Butler County squad formed in July includes one full-time and one part-time sheriff's detective, an assistant prosecutor and a county Job and Family Services employee. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the squad's investigations have led to 17 arrests so far.
With about one in seven Americans getting federal food aid after the Great Recession, authorities say it's important to make sure the program is being used as intended. Ohio officials say every county has a food stamp fraud investigator, but state spokeswoman Angela Terez said she wasn't aware of any other counties with a special squad set up.
Butler County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Craft says drug users will often sell their their benefits cards to get quick cash.