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USDA Seeks to Crack Down on SNAP Fraud

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has unveiled a range of new tactics to crack down on the fraudulent use and trafficking of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

The new actions include making "intent to sell" SNAP benefits — formerly known as food stamps — a violation of the program in an effort to deter sales via social media and other online venues. Retailers who violate the program's rules also would be subject to stronger sanctions and penalties "to allow USDA to take more aggressive action against those that violate program rules and give responsible retailers a bad name," the USDA said in a statement.

USDA said it would publish a proposed rule for public comments in Spring 2012.

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