4 New Yorkers Make Millions Off Food Stamps

A record 45.8 million Americans were on food stamps last May, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. That's almost 15 percent of the U.S. population. New York has one of the highest proportions of food stamp users in the country, but turns out that thousands of those listed on the rolls didn't actually exist.

On Wednesday, Vanee Sykes pled guilty to scamming the government out of $8 million in food stamps. Over four years, the 44-year-old invented thousands of phantom individuals, all scraping the poverty line, collected their EBT cards, and sold them for cash.

Skyes held out longer than her co-conspirators. Tori Jackson and Louis Johnson, who are city welfare workers like Sykes, already had plead guilty, along with another accomplice, Alice Bradford.

As an employee for the Human Resources Administration, Sykes was responsible for determining which food stamp applicants were eligible for benefits, making the scheme an even more brazen violation of public trust.

The case is one example of the food stamp abuse that exists across the country. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, Wisconsin food stamp recipients "routinely sell their benefit cards on Facebook," and Washington state food stamp beneficiaries cashed out the cards on Craigslist and street corners, causing the chief of the state's food-stamp program to resign in April.

Food stamp fraud is a problem, but the attention given to these incidents can have the effect of exaggerating the extent of the abuse, and failing to put it in perspective. For example, white collar crime costs Americans between $300 billion and $600 billion a year, according to the National White Collar Crime Center. Those figures are significantly more than the $73 billion that the government spends each year to help almost one in seven Americans feed themselves.

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billlajolla

The last part of the article excuses the fraud and waste by saying other frauds cost us more.
Any fraud is fraud and if the little ones were added up they may come to far more then big ones.

March 23 2015 at 11:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
johncstinnett

Put their picture on the card and you'll cut out a lot of fraud.

March 22 2015 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hellraiser13f

new york is a joke we have a mayor that gives everything away for free to mex's and anyone else that is not white,then we have a city council the same way,and finally the joke we have as gov'er the people of new york are dumb keep voting these people in

March 21 2015 at 8:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hellraiser13f's comment
trebob711

KNOWN FACT dingy......whites receive far more in food stamp benefits than every othe race combined. If you wqould have gone to school and learned to read and write and comprehen.....you might know these little things. Congrats on the lobotomy dingy....looks like it went perfectly.

March 22 2015 at 10:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cmonsulick

Easy fix for this - quit having a dozen kids you CANNOT AFFORD! There, now try enforcing that one! I will not feel sorry for people who continue to make one bad decision after another and make ME pay for it!

March 21 2015 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Maxine Days

I tell you the truth they forced me in the system by blocking my intelligence so they could get a better laugh and next they but me right in their drugged and prison addiction lifestyle while shinning their teeth and end up exposing them selves . welfare HRAs nuts and bolt , used their false achievement to destroy while they laugh and paralyzed the government database which calculate life and economy . if you understand what I meant.

March 21 2015 at 3:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Maxine Days

I used to see this card and when I seeing it used I know that could not be one ordinary food stamp card but more of cash card . first I taught it were the military ,because I am a well statics security license bonded occupational in other areas I saw another usage from the card and confirm this card is not something usual . prove me if I am wrong but I do see this card . these low level dishonest in high level used their company employed title to scared the heart while they skin their teeth making the honest of their fellow workers look as their are the culprit and make their clients look as if they cannot spell their own name not even to filled an application . you see how life turns out . a hunk of papers in repeat application were just copy fraud a easy way for the low definition . a mind made up in criminal employment ..

March 21 2015 at 3:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Maxine Days

me don't like them ,they cut me off in hate separating to make themselves look good and want me to pay their punishment sacrifice . as it always noted ***** house is the best place to put embarrassment . and it is true just for them fools to face their embarrassment from who already in their favor .

March 21 2015 at 3:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Maxine Days

n Wednesday, Vanee Sykes pled guilty to scamming the government out of $8 million in food stamps. Over four years, the 44-year-old invented thousands of phantom individuals, all scraping the poverty line, collected their EBT cards, and sold them for cash,

Read this Fraud . I tell you this is how it work .. when the dunce of poverty slam me into their poverty scheme to lived a broken life , from a well trained Occupational career in security .on the welfare homebound and as I saw what they were doing . they steal the money and the food stamp and cash it in for cash . when you see brain dysfunction they tends to make look bad . but I were not going for their criminal poverty sham . they should get locked up and send to the slaughter house where they are stealing from capability to make and mark incapability .. Dam dumbass . it is the reality truth selfish greed promote poverty . but one for sure I were not able to let those make themselves feel better under their influence of criminal interest of dishonest.

March 21 2015 at 3:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mamas1224

It's just proof that these programs need to be overhauled because they're not helping the people they are supposed to help, and are doing too little to help those who need it. I was laid off in '10. I went from making over 55k/year to just over 30k in unemployment. And I owe student loans, credit cards, the IRS, a car note, NJ car ins, health ins costs, along with the astronomical cost of living. So I applied for food stamps two months ago, something I never thought I would ever have to do. I was told we're not eligible. I would've laughed if it wasn't so damn painful. We can't afford food. We can't afford gas. We're behind on our rent, utility bills... and we're not eligible? Then who the hell is?

August 16 2011 at 6:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mamas1224's comment
sisterjoey

You make more money on unemployment than I make WITH A JOB!

August 20 2011 at 10:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sisterjoey's comment
Jonnie Stone

Seriously. 30K in unemployment? That is 2500 a month roughly. My family of 6 is living off of 17 ,000 a year, at most.

August 31 2011 at 10:25 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
amberteka

What disturbs me is what they buy. Here we are being told by the "elites" that it costs more to eat healty than to eat junk and weigh 289 pounds. So..Tuesday, behind a food stamper, with the buggy piled high. All of the junk food, and there was plenty of it, were all Brand Names. Lay's Chips,not the store brand. Those things cost $4.99. Then bags of cheese chips, Dorritos, and on and on..all brand names. Then the packaged lunches..with a tiny bit of ham, tiny bit of cheese, huge price. Lots of frozen dinners. Fresh Produce, which is healty and cheap now..consisted of tomatoes and some bags of salad. Orange Juice, cartons and cartons...all loaded with sugar. Ice Cream, cookies..all name brand and pricey to boot. The bill came to over $ 200 dollars and I know because the woman had clipped coupons and was trying to stretch her dollar. She looked poor. She was thin. Her child was thin, but her clothes were very clean. I did not begrude her the food, because for whatever reason, I think she needed it. But..for that $200 dollars, I would have had that buggy loaded down with fresh peaches, cheap now, fresh summer oranges, cheap now, vidalea onions, snap beans, squash, all cheap now. Dried beans, chicken thighs..which are cheap, cheap and can be boiled and then picked to make pot pies and such.....Poor People spend MORE money on Junk..than they do on healthy. Perhaps..the Govt. should stop letting food stamps pay for JUNK. Ir at least processed junk. I felt sorry for her. I was mad at her a little. I didn't want that little girl to be hungry. She was white. She and her mother....reminded me of a beaten dog. I don't like the abuse..I hate it. But..I don't want that skinny little kid...in her old clothes, with a little belt, unhemmed but very clean, tied around her skinny little waist..to be hungry. Ever. Nor her thin as a waif broken down looking Mother. They moved my heart.

August 12 2011 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to amberteka's comment
Jonnie Stone

My family eats healthy on the food stamp program, so idk what the hades people are doing to make it so expensive. I can buy one package of cookies (store brand) and make it last two weeks for a treat. Grapes, oranges, celery, apples. I give those to my kids. Fresh 1% milk, no sugar added juice. You can buy white meat chicken cheaply. Instead of wasting money on those lunchables deals you can buy a package of healthy low-sodium cold cut turkey, a package of wheat crackers, and some healthy cheese (swiss). For less than $10 I can easily give my children lunch for 2 days. Water! Don't pour your money into carbonated sugar water! Drink more freaking water. I get $950 to feed my family of 6 for the month, and we eat very healthy, so that "a family on stamps can't eat healthy" bull is a lie. People equate "healthy" with "organic", and guess what? Most of my fruits and veggies ARE organic. So seriously, there is no excuse for Doritos mom other than poor lifestyle choices. There is nothing wrong with the occasional treat, so banning "junk food" on EBT is uncalled for. But so is filling the cart with "junk food", then whining that you don't have money for "real food"

August 31 2011 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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