The Florida Department of Children and Families has fired 31 employees accused of fraudulently applying for emergency food stamp benefits after Hurricane Irma.
“Following a standard review of every employee application for DSNAP benefits, DCF identified applicants who submitted inconsistent information. Thirty-one employees have been terminated or are in the administrative process of being terminated,” said DCF spokesperson David Frady. “These 31 individuals do not meet the high standards we hold more than 12,000 employees to.”
Frady said about 1,300 DCF workers applied for Florida’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as D-SNAP, after the hurricane.
He said all DCF employees who apply for benefits are automatically audited.
DCF was in charge of registering more than 1.2 million applications for D-SNAP and rooting out fraudulent applications.
Frady said DCF investigators prevented more than $14 million in fraudulent D-SNAP applications statewide.
Anyone found guilty of fraudulently applying for the benefits could face criminal charges, be disqualified from getting food assistance benefits in the future, and must pay the money back.
The investigation is still open, so more DCF workers could face consequences in the future.
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