DCFS: No fraud in EBT shopping frenzy - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

DCFS: No fraud in EBT shopping frenzy

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Officials at the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services say no funds from the state were used during Saturday's food-stamp shopping frenzy, so there is no fraud to investigate.

Dozens of excited shoppers filled shopping carts at Walmart stores in Mansfield and Springhill, LA after word spread about the glitch. Shelves were emptied in both stores. When an announcement was made over the intercom explaining the food stamp system had been restored, many shoppers reportedly abandoned their filled carts in aisles. Videos that captured the chaos have gone viral online.

Many claim the cell phone video appears to show fraud and abuse, but the state sees it differently. Here's why: During these outages or glitches the retailer is responsible for making a phone call and establishing a limit for each customer using an EBT card. While most stores set a limit of $50 or $100, others, including those in Springhill and Mansfield, did not. 

LA DCFS spokesman Trey Williams says Walmart is responsible for the resulting overages.

"Any theft that occurred did not occur from the state of Louisiana nor with taxpayer dollars, it was actually merchandise from these retailers. So it will be up to them, up to the retailers working with law enforcement to determine if they want to prosecute," Williams says.

The state's GPS based software does track everything from the name of the buyer, to the stuff they buy, and Williams confirms that DCFS is standing by to provide that information to law enforcement upon request.

Whether its used in this case or not, the software that gathers all that information has helped the state recover millions of dollars reportedly stolen in other cases. The state of Louisiana investigates nearly 3,000 cases each year. 800 SNAP benefits cases each year are canceled due to fraud and abuse.

Williams points out that those shoppers over the weekend who did take advantage of the glitch are only a fraction of the hundreds of thousands who use the system responsibly.

No plans are in place to prosecute shoppers who may have taken advantage of the situation on Saturday. The Louisiana Attorney General's Office tells KSLA News 12 that prosecution would be left up to DCFS, local police or the district attorney. However, the District Attorney of Bossier and Webster parishes, Schuyler Marvin, said he does not plan to charge those shoppers.  We are working to find out if any charges will be filed in DeSoto Parish.

Copyright 2013 KSLA. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • One dead after fatal shooting in Evangeline Parish

    One dead after fatal shooting in Evangeline Parish

    Sunday, June 24 2018 8:10 PM EDT2018-06-25 00:10:42 GMT
    De'Lanzo Veal (Source: KATC / John Anderson)De'Lanzo Veal (Source: KATC / John Anderson)

    A man was killed in Evangeline Parish after a shooting at a memorial celebration on Saturday, according to KATC. De'Lanzo Veal, 48, was shot at Pineywoods Ranch near Oakdale. Veal leaves behind his wife of 20 years and seven children. Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation of the shooting. 7News will update the story as information becomes available. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    A man was killed in Evangeline Parish after a shooting at a memorial celebration on Saturday, according to KATC. De'Lanzo Veal, 48, was shot at Pineywoods Ranch near Oakdale. Veal leaves behind his wife of 20 years and seven children. Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation of the shooting. 7News will update the story as information becomes available. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Partly cloudy and warm start to the work week

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Partly cloudy and warm start to the work week

    Sunday, June 24 2018 3:37 PM EDT2018-06-24 19:37:26 GMT
    Wind speeds and gusts across Southwest Louisiana (Source: KPLC)Wind speeds and gusts across Southwest Louisiana (Source: KPLC)
    Wind speeds and gusts across Southwest Louisiana (Source: KPLC)Wind speeds and gusts across Southwest Louisiana (Source: KPLC)

    Through the rest of today expect skies to remain partly cloudy.  Some of those clouds have gained enough energy from day time heating to produce a quick shower.  Any more that form through the rest of the afternoon will likely rain out quickly.  Unfortunately, this does not help our temperatures much as highs will get into the 90s and feels-like temperatures will be in the triple digits.  We do have a breeze between 10-15 mph helping to keep air flowing.  

    More >>

    Through the rest of today expect skies to remain partly cloudy.  Some of those clouds have gained enough energy from day time heating to produce a quick shower.  Any more that form through the rest of the afternoon will likely rain out quickly.  Unfortunately, this does not help our temperatures much as highs will get into the 90s and feels-like temperatures will be in the triple digits.  We do have a breeze between 10-15 mph helping to keep air flowing.  

    More >>
  • LA Lifeline for K-9s holds Pretty Pitty Spay Day in DeRidder

    LA Lifeline for K-9s holds Pretty Pitty Spay Day in DeRidder

    Sunday, June 24 2018 12:51 PM EDT2018-06-24 16:51:49 GMT

    Louisiana Lifeline for K-9s held their Pretty Pitty Spa Day in DeRidder Saturday, an event that allows owners of female pit bulls to get them spayed for free. At the event, we met William, a boy who dedicated his fifth birthday to the cause. For William's birthday, he didn't want presents for himself, but to collect food and toys to donate to the organization. His parents say that they found a pregnant dog on the side of the road one day and reached out to Lifeline fo...

    More >>

    Louisiana Lifeline for K-9s held their Pretty Pitty Spa Day in DeRidder Saturday, an event that allows owners of female pit bulls to get them spayed for free. At the event, we met William, a boy who dedicated his fifth birthday to the cause. For William's birthday, he didn't want presents for himself, but to collect food and toys to donate to the organization. His parents say that they found a pregnant dog on the side of the road one day and reached out to Lifeline fo...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly