Cash for flat screens! New welfare fraud scheme going on in Rochester, NY

Your stimulus dollars at work:

Regular readers know that one of my side interests is welfare/health care/food stamp fraud and abuse.  I got interested in it when we had a food stamp scam bust where I live (just type ‘food stamp fraud’ into our search function for the many cases involving immigrants around the country).   Today in my fraud alerts appeared this article from Rochester, NY.   Although there is no mention of immigrants in the article, we have written about Rochester on several previous occasions as a “welcoming” city for refugees.

You, federal taxpayers, and George Soros (LOL!) were ripped off.

I’m actually not sure you can call this fraud when every welfare recipient (with children) in Rochester received $200 extra (per child!) this month ostensibly for school supplies with no strings attached.  Big surprise!   Many went on wild shopping binges as wealth is redistributed.

(Rochester, N.Y.) – Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks said the state school supply grants handed out to New York State food stamp and welfare recipients are not being used as intended by many families. She said the program has “widespread, rampant abuse.”

“There were better ways–You don’t have to support families to buy school supplies by giving them cash,” she said.

Brooks said the county has been overwhelmed by reports, some of them from store owners, of people using the money to buy TVs and other luxury items.

“We actually received a telephone call from WalMart on Hudson Avenue suggesting that there was welfare fraud, and indicating they were going to call the FBI because people were going in and buying X-boxes, Wii systems, flat-screen television sets,” said Kelly reed, the county’s commissioner of social services. “Wegmans has indicated people are buying tickets to Darien Lake.”

The $200 per child grants showed up in welfare accounts this week. Many recipients had no idea the money was coming, and flooded area stores and ATMs.

The money is a combination of $140 million in federal stimulus funds and a $35 million donation from philanthropist George Soros. About $6.5 million went to more than 32,400 children in Rochester. Critics have said the program invited waste and abuse, because there are no strings attached to the grant money.

Actually I have been wondering if Soros (who surely helped collapse the economy last fall) is out trying to prop up the economy now because they have to be getting desperate to show that Obama’s stimulus plan is working.  This article answers my question.

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