State Department of Human Services agents used a simple sting operation over and over to uncover food stamp fraud at stores throughout Oklahoma County, court records show.
Agents posed as store customers with food stamp cards. Most often, they asked clerks for cash back from the cards. Sometimes, they used confidential informants. The cards are not supposed to be used that way.
In one typical transaction, a grocery clerk in February gave an undercover DHS agent $100 from a $200 card "purchase" that didn't actually take place, the agent reported.
The sting operation by the state DHS has been under way since at least April 2009, the records show. Arrests began Wednesday.
The investigation has resulted in 26 arrests so far, a DHS spokeswoman said Friday. A few more arrests were planned.
In some cases, an informant worked out deals with convenience store clerks to get cash in exchange for soda bought with the food stamp card at a different store, records show. One clerk paid the informant $45 for soda pop bought elsewhere for $104, an agent reported.
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Food stamp sting
The names and stores included in the sting, according to the records, are: