AG Mills On LePage EBT Fraud Claims: Put Issue In Perspective, Go After “Big Fish” Too

Posted Tuesday, February 18, 2014 in News

AG Mills On LePage EBT Fraud Claims: Put Issue In Perspective, Go After “Big Fish” Too

by Andi Parkinson

In early January, Senate President Justin Alfond and Speaker of the House Mark Eves sent a letter requesting that Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills and her office look into the allegations of widespread EBT fraud put forth by Governor Paul LePage.

 

 

In the letter, they requested that the Attorney General review, and if necessary prosecute, the governors allegations of fraud and abuse in Maine’s anti-poverty programs.

In a press release to media, Democrats stated their position clearly:

On Monday, Mills sent a letter back to the Democratic leaders and minced no words in how she views the Governor’s recent tirades against EBT fraudulent users, which his own released data showed to have a scant 0.2% fraud rate- ignoring the fact that the remaining 99.8% rate of usage is completely legitimate- as agreeing with the Democrats’ previous assertion that the Governor’s focus on such a small percentage of possible fraud could be politically motivated.

Here is AG Janet Mills’ letter sent to Senate President Justin Alfond and Speaker of the House Mark Eves:

 

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Mills discusses not just the 0.2% of purported fraud claimed to have been discovered by LePage’s office, but the fact that only the location of the ATM transactions is known- what the monies withdrawn were spent upon is anyone’s guess:

 

 

 

What has yet to be considered by any public officials yet are such reasonable and legitimate possibilities as employees on assistance might be withdrawing cash at their place of employment to pay for gasoline to get back and forth to work. It is not unreasonable to consider that employees at “strip clubs, bars and smoke shops” are making minimum or lower wages than most workers.

 

DA Maeghan Maloney, AG Janet Mills and Sec. of State Matt Dunlap at EmergeMaine's 2013 naming of Mills as Woman of the Year.

DA Maeghan Maloney, AG Janet Mills and Sec. of State Matt Dunlap at EmergeMaine’s 2013 naming of Mills as Woman of the Year.

As for the Governor’s “46 states” statistic… has anyone considered that maybe those are some of Maine’s currently enlisted military families, stationed elsewhere? Last year, it was reportedthat military families nationwide redeemed $100 million in SNAP benefits- yet that part of the discussion has yet to be had locally or looked into as an explanation of why Maine EBT cards have been used in almost every state, yet been part of such a tiny overall number.

 

Mills informed the leaders that her office was very much focused on all sorts of fraud, including that by providers stealing millions from the state:

In her conclusion, Mills advised that focal balance be a part of eliminating fraud:

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