Audit: Prisoners, fugitives got food stamps

Nearly 1,600 Wisconsin prisoners, fugitives and parole violators have illegally collected food stamp benefits, according to a new state audit.

The Legislative Audit Bureau ran the names, Social Security numbers and birthdates of the 831,414 people receiving FoodShare program benefits in January through state Department of Corrections and Justice Department records.

Auditors found 447 prisoners and 1,192 fugitives or parole violators have accrued benefits in violation of federal law.

The findings were part of a broader bureau examination of the FoodShare program. The report says the program handed out $1.1 billion in benefits in the year that ended June 30, an increase of nearly 207 percent from fiscal year 2006-07.

State Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith said the agency has established a new inspector general position to curtail fraud.