Fraud reported for federally-funded low-income meal program

1 year 11 months 2 weeks ago December 19, 2014 Dec 19, 2014 Friday, December 19 2014 Friday, December 19, 2014 8:19:00 PM CST in News
By: Colleen Menadier, KOMU 8 Reporter

AUDRAIN COUNTY- A low-income program in mid-Missouri is fighting a fraud trend that's spread across the country.

The United States Department of Agriculture announced nationwide fraud instances coming from Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) a supplemental foods and nutrition education program for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women.

Within the last year, Audrain County's WIC program, which serves around 700 people, had approximately five cases of fraud. 

WIC officials posted warnings of fraud in the screening rooms in the building to warn participants of the program the repercussions of fraud.

Since the sign was posted, nurses say there has been a decline in the amount of fraud cases in Audrain County.

Becky Wieberg, a registered nurse at WIC, said they first started noticed fraud cases early last year via social media.

"It's probably been the last 2-3 years that social media became more popular and we first started to see a couple here or there that formula was being sold," Wieberg said.

Employees of WIC sometimes notice the offenders of the program by seeing the supplies given to women later posted on Facebook or Ebay, and recognizing them as members of WIC.

If there is a suspected fraud case, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services looks into the claims. 

Weiberg said multiple offenders of fraud are removed from the program.

To report a WIC fraud case to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, click here.

 

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