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11Alive Investigation results in crack down on EBT fraud

12:44 AM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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 PDF Document: House Bill 138

ATLANTA -- It began as an investigation by our Center for Investigative Action, exposing how your tax dollars were being cashed in at casinos, bars and strip clubs; now the state is taking action to put a stop to it.

"I got a lot of calls," said Representative Andy Welch (R- McDonough), "That's not what the money was intended for;Congress has said that, and we're trying to say that here in the State of Georgia, 'that it's not going to be tolerated'."

Welch has introduced a new bill to crack down on abuse. It follows an 11Alive Investigation last year that exposed how 'Electronic Benefit Cards' (EBT), were being used at ATMs in liquor stores, strip clubs and liquor stores.

RELATED | 11Alive's original investigation

Our investigation exposed the abuse and Governor Deal followed up. Welch's bill goes further than bringing Georgia into compliance with Federal law. It bans many uses of EBT cards, including the purchase of lottery tickets, being used to pay fines, fees, bail or bail bonds and imposes penalties and fines for retailers and recipients who misuse the cards.

"11Alive's work and investigation and your investigation was actually very helpful because it illuminated a problem that's country wide," Welch said.

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