A man in Menominee, Mich. was charged with felony food stamp trafficking last week, after allegedly using food stamps to buy gourmet food, and then selling it to make a profit.
Louis Wayne Cuff, 33, allegedly bought $141.78 worth of lobster, steak and Mountain Dew with a Bridge card, a type of debit card issued by Michigan’s Department of Health Services (DHS) to needy individuals to help them pay for food, according to an article on the Lansing State Journal’s website. Cuff is alleged to have then sold the food for half of its cost, yielding a profit.
The investigation that uncovered Cuff’s alleged abuse of the system began with a receipt found in the Angeli’s County Market parking lot.
“It showed that somebody went into Angeli’s in February and bought six lobsters, two porterhouse steaks and five 24-packs of Mountain Dew using a Michigan Bridge Card,” the article read. “According to DHS spokeswoman Gisgie Gendreau, somebody brought the receipt to the attention of DHS on the department’s Facebook page.”
The store that sold the goods said it had no legal right to refuse the sale.
“While federal guidelines allow for food assistance to be used to buy (lobster, steak and Mountain Dew), these purchases go against the intent of the program, which is to provide help to those who are truly needy,” Gendreau told the paper.