BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office in conjunction with the Boston Police Department launched an EBT crack down on Thursday that resulted in multiple charges.
The Attorney General's Office told FOX 25 they will be holding a press conference on Thursday afternoon to announce a campaign against electronic benefit card abuse and trafficking.
Law enforcement carried out raids at businesses in Quincy, as well as several other locations in the Boston area, that are trafficking taxpayer-funded EBT cards.
Lawmakers in Massachusetts, as well as residents of the Commonwealth, have been calling for tougher restrictions on the use of EBT cards by welfare recipients.
State Representative Shaunna O'Connell (R-Taunton), one of the politicians at the forefront of EBT reform, said in a statement that she is "not surprised at all."
"Right now the Department of Transitional Assistance replaces 20,000 EBT cards monthly. In comparison, only 16,000 drivers licenses are replaced monthly. There are far more people who are licensed to drive in the Commonwealth than receive EBT benefits. Hence, it is easily concluded that the cards are being sold," O'Connell said.
O'Connell has filed both a budget amendment and bill to end cash withdrawals while also requiring recipients to pay a fee for replacing missing cards.
Beacon Hill was forced to consider reforms after the Boston Herald reported people were spending welfare cash on booze, cigarettes, scratch cards and using the money at nail salons, tattoo parlors, strip clubs, and casinos.