State Republican Senator John Albers demands action.
ATLANTA -- First we showed you how hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars are being cashed in at liquor stores, strip clubs and tobacco shops. Now 11Alive's Center for Investigative Action demands answers about how that could happen and how it can be stopped.
"This is just an unconscionable use of taxpayer's dollars," Republican State Senator John Albers said after seeing the results of our investigation.
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The money comes from the federal government but is administered by the state, which handed out more than $50 million to needy families last year. It's called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the money is distributed on Electronic Benefit Cards (EBT), which can be used like an ATM or debit card. The money is supposed to be used to clothe, feed and shelter kids.
We found massive potential for abuse and evidence of money being used to buy alcohol. Click here to see our investigation.
Senator Albers is demanding answers and an internal audit to see why state officials in the Department of Health never noticed how $148,000 was redeemed in liquor stores among other places.
We have posted a complete list of places where money was redeemed in places where only adults could go, including an Atlanta strip club.
"You know this is the exact reason. Why we have to make things more responsible and accountable," Albers said.
Our next stop is the governor's office. Governor Deal is already planning to take action, and we'll have more on that in the coming days.
If you suspect fraud we'd like to hear about it and you can also report it to the state at the FRAUD HOTLINE: 877-423-4746. When you get the voicemail press 4, to get to the fraud center.