Justice and Law Enforcement:

Possible Food Stamp Fraud by Certain Migrant Farm Workers in Polk County, Minnesota

Published: Aug 1, 1977. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 1982.

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Certain migrant farm workers in Polk County, Minnesota, have allegedly been participating in the food stamp program at low (or no) purchase requirements because of an arrangement under which employer-farmers in the area were required to withhold wages until the end of the work season. Presumably, such deferred wages were not reported and/or considered in determining food stamp benefits for these workers. It has also been reported that a federally funded migrants' organization was advising the migrant workers to participate in the food stamp program in this manner.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendation for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Department of Agriculture's Office of Investigation inquiry into an apparently similar situation in Henry County, Ohio, should include the potential fraud implications of the Polk County situation, including the questionable activity by the migrants' council. Food and Nutrition Service regional officials in Chicago should immediately contact State and local food stamp officials in Minnesota to alert them to this situation. All regional offices should be instructed to inform the States within their jurisdictions of the possibility of such situations and to contact State and local migrants' organizations to inform them that such an arranged deferral of wages to increase food stamp benefits is a violation of Federal regulations and possibly of Federal law.

    Agency Affected:

    Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

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