Welfare Fraud Suspects Allowed to Keep Welfare Cards

Updated: 03/05/2014 3:33 PM KSTP.com By: Nick Winkler

The Department of Human Services, or DHS, oversees welfare in Minnesota and is also tasked with investigating potential fraud.

Two years ago lawmakers passed a law requiring law enforcement to report to DHS cases of suspected welfare fraud in which people are arrested or taken into custody and are subsequently found to be in possession of multiple EBT cards.

Officers and jailers say people in possession of multiple cards raises red flags.

Earlier this year, DHS sent a memo to county sheriffs and jailers telling them in part, "If you arrest a person with multiple EBT cards in their possession...the cards do not need to be confiscated..."

Law enforcement officers have complained to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that DHS appears to be making it more difficult to stop fraud.

However, that is not DHS's intention at all. DHS says the memo was simply a reminder that law enforcement must report suspected multiple EBT card fraud to DHS so the department can investigate.

Thus far DHS says it has not found any fraud in connection with people possessing multiple cards.

However, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS did in this special report.

Click here to view our previous 'Welfare Waste' investigations.