In 2010 Vincent Daprince used a Lake Charles taco truck as a decoy to exchange 1.2-million dollars worth of food stamps for cash. It was then the largest case of food stamp fraud in Louisiana history. More recently Craig and Hillary Nash pleaded guilty in connection with 2.7-million dollars in food stamp fraud through two local convenience stores.
In the first case, 127 people are facing criminal charges including food stamp recipients. In the second case, to our knowledge, prosecutors have yet to go after the food stamp recipients themselves.
Historically food stamp fraud has resulted in criminal charges against the organizers and slaps on the hand against the food stamp recipients who made the fraud possible.
The Daprince case sends a message that food stamp recipients who break the law by participating in fraud will be aggressively prosecuted on criminal charges, not just have their food coupons taken away. Let's hope it continues with the Nash case.
What's YOUR Hot Button? Friend Jim Serra on Facebook at Jim Serra Kplc and join in the behind-the-scenes conversation!