Posts tagged fraudulent
By Daisy Luther
Gov Cancels SNAP Cards: Louisiana EBT Free-for-all May Come at a High Price
Remember last month when EBT cards in Louisiana showed no limits? Remember how all of those EBT users had a chaos-fueled shopping spree and emptied store shelves within hours? Remember how that one woman with only 49 cents left on her card tried to leave with $700 worth of food?
Well, the governor of Louisiana remembers too, and he has taken the unprecedented move of canceling the benefits cards for every person suspect of participating in the fraudulent free-for-all.
… Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal’s office will cancel food stamp benefits for anyone who participated in a fraud and shopping spree catalyzed by an EBT malfunction.
More than 12,000 people were sent an insufficient funds notice when the problem with the EBT cards was fixed on Oct. 12; those who transgressed may lose their EBT cards for a year.
Suzy Sonnier, the secretary of state at the Department of Children and Family Services, released a statement saying: “We must protect the program for those who receive and use their benefits appropriately according to the law. We are looking at each case individually, addressing those recipients who are suspected of misrepresenting their eligibility for benefits or defrauding the system.” (source)
It all started on October 12, when technical problems plagued the EBT system across the country. 17 states were affected. Most of the benefits recipients couldn’t use their cards at all, causing mini-riots across the country when they were unable to buy food for their families. Within a few days, the USDA had sent notices to the states ordering them to freeze SNAP funds as a contingency plan because of the government shutdown. Meanwhile, in a few places in Louisiana, the EBT malfunction caused the cards to show no limit, and many stores allowed users to shop anyway.
And shop they did. Even though the accepted policy is to allow benefits recipients to purchase $50 worth of groceries in the event that cards malfunction, many stores did not limit purchases. Grocery carts were filled with reckless abandon and users gleefully left the stores with hundreds of dollars worth of ill-gotten supplies.
It looks like dishonesty was not the best policy, however.
Governor Jindal’s move comes after public urging from the office of the Louisiana Attorney General, David Vitter.
Sen. David Vitter urged Louisiana officials Wednesday to pursue charges and strip food stamp benefits from Wal-Mart shoppers in north Louisiana who turned a technical glitch into a free shopping spree.
Vitter, R-La., called for state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the Jindal administration to take action against shoppers who generated national headlines, spawned YouTube videos, and created a Twitter frenzy after a failure in the electronic benefit transfer system — the process for using food stamps — allowed them to spend beyond their balances in mid-October.
Smartphones captured images of carts piled high with groceries that were abandoned once the system came back online.
Taxpayers did not lose money because of safety measures built into the food stamp system.
“It should be clear that someone who tried to buy massive amounts of groceries purposely attempted to exceed the program limits. That sort of fraud should be met with disqualification from the program at the very least,” Vitter wrote. (source)
Those whose cards have been cancelled may appeal the decision in hopes of having their benefits restored, but if they lose the appeal, they could lose their benefits anywhere from one year all the way to…forever. Suzie Sonnier wrote, “Louisiana’s current SNAP policy allows a one year sanction from the program for a first offense, a 24 month suspension for a second offense and a permanent disqualification for a third offense.”
Let’s hope, for their sakes and that of their innocent children, that the fraudulent shoppers purchased long term storage foods, because it looks like they are going to need it. As always, it’s the children who will really pay the price for the irresponsible actions of their parents. Through greed, dishonesty, and an entitlement mentality, these folks have just created their own SHTF event.
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca
Tens of thousands Malaysians have come out to protest in the country’s capital against the government calling for reforms and possible ouster of the ruling coalition. The rally comes before Malaysia’s general elections, which are due by mid-2013.
According to local police, 80,000 people marched through Kuala Lumpur to the legendary Stadium Merdeka, where the current governing alliance declared independence from Britain in 1957, reported The Malaysian Insider.
Opposition estimates that the turnout was even higher, at about 100,000, according to Malaysia Kini.
Protesters’ demands included better electoral and environmental laws, improved education system, abolition of student loans and fair royalty payments to oil-producing states.
The opposition argues that the country’s electoral register is fraudulent and has pro-government bias.
During the rally people wore various bright colors including yellow and green, each representing an activist group.
The rally resembled a festival with food sellers and other vendors coming out to the streets. People carried flags and signs and some even wore Guy Fawkes masks, as popularized by the 2005 film V for Vendetta.
Opposition leader Lim Guan Eng spoke at the protest urging for change from the country’s Prime Minister Najib Razak’s and his Barisan Nasional coalition, which has held power for the past 55 years.
The ruling coalition has been in control of Malaysia since independence from Britain.
“Our government is so corrupt. The government should listen to us. They need to reform. For more than 50 years they have ruled Malaysia,” rally participant Azlan Abu Bakar told News24.
By Dr. Mercola
Did you know it’s currently illegal for a food or supplement producer to tell you about their products’ scientifically proven health benefits?
As unbelievable as it sounds, a person can be thrown in jail for telling you the walnuts they grow may slow down the growth of prostate tumors, or cherries ease symptoms of arthritis and gout, even though this is truthful, accurate and helpful information for a consumer to know.
This is why a case that was recently heard before U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa L. Bryant could turn out to be a landmark event, as she ruled that the “FDA went too far” in censoring health claims related to green tea and cancer.
FDA Wording Too Strong, “Effectively Negates” Qualified Health Claims
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows food and supplement manufacturers to use a qualified health claim (QHC) when “there is emerging evidence for a relationship between a food, food component, or dietary supplement and reduced risk of a disease or health-related condition.”i
However, because the evidence is still emerging, the FDA requires “qualifying language” to be included with the claim “to indicate that the evidence supporting the claim is limited.” In the case of Fleminger, Inc., which sells green tea and filed a health claim petition in 2004 to highlight green tea’s anti-cancer properties, the FDA suggested that this disclaimer be added to the health claim:
“FDA concludes that it is highly unlikely that green tea reduces the risk” of breast cancer or prostate cancer.
Obviously, this essentially contradicts the health claim. So, in 2010 (after a petition to review the FDA’s disclaimer was denied), the FDA threatened to seize Fleminger’s products if they did not use the exact disclaimer above. Eventually the FDA sent a revised claim, which still negated the point of the health claim:
“Green tea may reduce the risk of breast or prostate cancer. FDA does not agree that green tea may reduce the risk because there is very little scientific evidence for the claim.”
This is a major win for natural food and supplement producers alike, as the FDA is being required to revise the disclaimer so as not to negate the health claim being made. At this point, Fleminger took the case to court, where Judge Bryant ruled:
“The FDA’s language “effectively negates the substance–disease relationship claim altogether….There are less burdensome ways in which the FDA could indicate in a short, succinct and accurate disclaimer that it has not approved the claim without nullifying the claim altogether.”
Why Can’t Foods Have Truthful Health Claims on Their Labels?
This is perhaps the underlying question: why must manufacturers petition the FDA to make truthful, science-based health claims in the first place and then have them subjected to disclaimers? This is a serious waste of tax dollars – not to mention an assault on your freedom of access to information (and for the manufacturers, on their freedom of speech).
The fact is, QHCs are currently the only way that companies can make truthful health claims about natural foods or supplements. However, they are not easy to come by (the FDA approved only 12 QHCs from 1999 to 2010). Under current FDA law, if a food or natural supplement makes a medical claim without a QHC, it’s automatically classified as a drug. The Alliance for Natural Health explains:
“Outside of QHCs, food and supplements are not allowed to speak of the specific health benefits of their products because the FDA takes the position that any such statement magically turns them into drugs. And, as drugs, they would have to go through exorbitantly expensive drug trials, a cost which the manufacturer could never recoup, since food and supplements are natural products and cannot be patented. Without a patent, anyone can sell them, so paying as much as a billion dollars for a drug trial is essentially money down the drain.”
Believe it or not, the FDA recently sent a warning letter to Diamond Food for making truthful, science-backed health claims about the omega-3 fats in walnuts. But because the research cited health claims that omega-3 fats in walnuts may prevent or protect against disease, the FDA said walnuts would be considered “new drugs” and as such would require a new drug application to become FDA-approved.
The FDA’s current position is that foods such as walnuts, cherries, broccoli, turmeric, green tea and the like should be subjected to the full FDA approval process. But obtaining a new drug application, as the FDA suggests, can cost billions of dollars. And let’s face it – small food and supplement producers cannot come close to affording that!
In related news, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also suffered a loss in its efforts to hold Garden of Life, the marketer of various dietary supplements, in contempt of a previous consent order. The FTC alleged that Garden of Life violated the order by making false and baseless claims about its vitamin C and omega-3 fat based products, but the court ruled that the FTC had failed to prove that any of the challenged claims violated the consent order. It’s a small win, but it could have major repercussions for other natural supplement makers who are being unjustly attacked by the FTC or another government agency.
March 31, 2012
Credit card data — enough to create counterfeit cards — has been stolen from Visa and Mastercard users, Visa confirmed today. The companies are doing damage control, alerting banks and affected card members.
According to security researcher, Brian Krebs, a group of individuals, have compromised the a payments processor, rumored to be Global Payments Inc. The group is believed to be New York-based, targeting the payment system in New York parking garages. Cyber criminals have gained access through the processor to “Track 1 and Track 2 data,” which gives them enough information to make fraudulent purchases on the compromised cards.
Visa and Mastercard have alerted a number of banks and credit unions associated with the cards, warning that they should be on the lookout for fraud.
“Visa has provided payment card issuers with the affected account numbers so they can take steps to protect consumers through independent fraud monitoring and, if needed, reissuing cards,” the company said in a statement, “As always, Visa encourages cardholders to regularly monitor their accounts and to notify their issuing financial institution promptly of any unusual activity.”
Thanks for the footage and commentary to Patrick & Lynn Kempen. Great job!
The video cuts in after the first recess. To catch you up, before the first recess, it was being heavily argued whether Robert’s Rules of Order would be followed. Specifically, whether votes would be decided by 2/3 majority or a simple majority.
I’m not doing this to offend anyone and I apologize if this is used the wrong way, but people deserve to know what really happened at this caucus. I only had a 16GB memory card with me and there are a few random cuts when my camera decided to shut off, but I think I got most of the important stuff.
Pat in the hat: My comments are at minute mark, 50:50 until 53:50 thereabouts.
Lynn Kempen: Within the Christian County, Missouri Republican Caucus, held 3/17/2012, there were numerous, and egregious, violations of parliamentary procedure. So much so, that the entire slate, as well as the Caucus as a whole, are being contested.
There is overwhelming audio and video evidence to support these serious charges of abuse of power. The following is an abbreviated summary of some of the significant charges of Parliamentary abuse perpetrated by those who have been GOP establishment strongholds in the Christian County Republican Party Central Committee.
The Caucus Floor, had been opened to Amendments by the Caucus Chair, Walter Martin, upon advice of his own appointed Rules Committee.
Someone Moved for an Amendment that “all votes from this point forward be by a simple majority.”
Jordon Dollarhite was handed the microphone and began saying “I’ve been wondering what it means to be a Republican…” He was allowed to speak until he mentioned “our founding fathers,” at which point the the majority/GOP establishment crowd, loudly, booed and hissed.
By Lori Stacey
It is now almost 24 hours after voters in Nevada went to their caucuses to try to cast their votes and we still mysteriously only have results for 71.1% of the caucuses . The remaining caucuses that are still not reported actually make up the most populated caucuses in the entire state. We were told late last night that all the votes cast in Clark County had to be recounted to ensure accuracy before they would release any of the numbers to the press. Excuse me?
Where does one even begin to voice their outrage regarding this complete joke of a corrupt system we are all witnessing? If you believe the results finally coming out of Nevada, you must be living on Fantasy Island. How can caucuses that count their votes right there at the precincts have to conduct complete recounts many hours after they are over and almost everyone has gone home before they will even report most of the counts in the entire state to the public? There is only one explanation for this insanity: Corruption at its boldest! It is completely inconceivable in a caucus situation for votes to ever have to be recounted away from the precinct. The votes are not even cast on ballots like in the primary states, they are usually nothing more than little pieces of paper with a name on them stating the voter’s preference.
As I wrote in a previous article, many of the polls leading up to voting have been wrought with deliberate deception. The only logical conclusion for such disturbingly unfair polling data is that they are being deliberately created to not only deceive voters into believing which candidate can win a particular contest but that they are obviously being used as a precursor to try to later justify completely fraudulent voting results.
The long night was filled with voter intimidation reports of having to prove or declare a religion (see video), countless reports by the media that were harassed or even kicked out of caucuses and told they could not film the events, hundreds of voters being turned away especially if they admitted they supported Ron Paul and then we still do not have a full accounting of the votes. It is being admitted by party officials that there are precincts in which the amount of votes cast outnumbers the amount of voters present. In other words, ballot stuffing at its finest. What is going on here and why are we continuing to just put up with it?
This election season has already been the greatest and most blatant case of election fraud I have ever witnessed in my lifetime.
1. The Nevada GOP refused to release the vote counts which were already done at the caucus locations throughout Clark County which is the most heavily populated in the state and encompasses over half of the total Republican voters in the state.
2. Votes are counted right on caucus night while witnessed by the voters that just cast their votes. Any reason for a recount would have been done and should have been handled while the voters were still present. To suggest that entire counties must undergo recounts hours later by a select few in secret before they can ever release numbers to the press are the actions of a system that has become so boldly corrupt that it is akin to an election in a Communist country.
3. For a candidate to somehow come in second place that barely even campaigned there and was clearly not even a factor in the race leading up to the vote is preposterous! After all the shenanigans, highly suspect actions and needless recounts conducted in secret, to believe that Newt Gingrich somehow came in second in Nevada would have to suggest that you may be living in a completely biased dreamworld of grand illusions.
4. Let’s finally face the facts as a people. As far as mainstream media is concerned, we have completely and utterly lost all freedom of the press. We continually witness outrageous bias towards one candidate in particular, Congressman Ron Paul. This bias is largely controlled as witnessed by the fact that it is not just being done on one major network but is a concerted and widespread effort. There were many instances of the press and other members of the public not being given the freedom to film the caucus events in Nevada. The 1st Amendment has effectively been scrapped.
5. If no one does anything about this when even in tiny, 3rd-world countries with no 2nd Amendment rights, people would have been rioting in the streets after the 1st hoax of an election this season pulled-off in Iowa, then we will continue to get the kind of totally corrupt elections we so rightly deserve. The American people as a whole did absolutely nothing to protest all the shenanigans in Iowa so we are now treated to even worse corruption in the Nevada caucuses.
6. Nevada GOP Chairwoman, Amy Tarkanian officially resigned effective 12:01am last night while votes were being recounted. According to ABC’s Action News 13, her resignation was supposedly decided prior to the caucuses yesterday because her husband is running for the US House and wanted to avoid a possible conflict of interest and to help her husband with his campaign. Your guess is as good as mine as to the timing of this resignation given all the controversy surrounding the results of the Nevada caucus.
The following quotes seem most appropriate in expressing where we find ourselves as a nation:
“The people never give up their liberties, but under some delusion.”
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
“No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting as fear.” Edmund Burke
“Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burned women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis
“To maintain the ascendancy of the Constitution over the lawmaking majority is the great and essential point on which the success of the American system must depend; unless that ascendancy can be preserved, the necessary consequence must be that the laws will supersede the Constitution; and finally, the will of the Executive, by influence of its patronage, will supersede the laws.” John C. Calhoun
“No matter how noble the original intentions, the seductions of power can turn any movement from one seeking equal rights to one that would deny them to others.” Tammy Bruce
“If you are afraid to speak against tyranny, then you are already a slave.” John “Birdman” Bryant
To the Paul campaign that is expecting to win the Maine caucuses………Sure, good luck with that!
In conclusion, if the 4 candidates remaining in the Republican primary do not come forth in the next few days to condemn and try to correct the continued and obvious election fraud being perpetrated against We The People, then they do not possess the integrity to be seeking the office of President of the United States.
I will begin coverage of the 5 Presidential candidates that have emerged to seek the nomination of the Constitution Party. It will give me much less grief, if at all.