Word on the Street: People Buying More than Just Food with Food Stamps

Surprise! There are some stores in the county that, according to some, will let people use their EBT cards (I think they’re called SNAP here) to buy booze and smokes but the real action are people selling their benefits or sometimes selling the food they get for the old standbys of sex, drugs and cash. Sites like Craigslist and Backpage are policing those ads but they are cropping up. I also understand that some drug dealers will accept benefits – at a lesser rate than cash of course.

I’m not sure how that works. Maybe they have card swipers? Mobile e-card readers like the PayAnywhere PAR-1 Mobile Card Reader make this sort of fraud much easier and the device itself can be purchased on Amazon for $10. Last year there was an article out of New England where people were caught selling the actual cards for cash.  I’m pretty sure that’s the kind of thing is more common here. Apparently if you “lose” your cards in many states the taxpayers foot the bill for a new one so there’s no incentive to keep hold of them.

On the other hand escorts and other people who conduct “business” by phone are probably aware of technological advances that make their business easier.

Anyone think drug testing welfare recipients might make a dent in this? Nah that’s crazy Tea Party talk.

You can check the official South Carolina website and see that booze, smokes and hookers are not approved items to buy. JP Morgan handles the processing though and they’re known for tolerating fraud. I suppose that if you really cared about this you could report stores and people defrauding the government – but it’s a long process where you need to provide the evidence. So unless you can grab a receipt from the liquor store where you saw the fraud it’s pretty pointless. Huzzah for the system! The welfare state is working so well there’s a song about it:

More on That Phony Fitch Rating for Greenville

Remember when I said buying Greenville bonds was dumb partially because Fitch gave them a AAA rating based on the idea that Greenville was getting 7% on investments to fund their pensions which were already in the red?

Turns out the rush to get that rating was because of new accounting rules going into effect that would , among other things, give investors a more accurate picture of a pensions:

Under current rules set by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, public pensions are estimated to be about 75 percent funded. This June, like Moody’s, GASB approved new guidelines that would shrink that estimate to 57 percent. GASB’s rules take full effect by 2015.

[...]

Among other things, the new accounting rules from Moody’s and GASB limit the rate of return on future investments that pension funds can assume for accounting purposes. Most government pension funds assume a 7 percent to 8 percent return, which critics say overstates future investment income.

Unions and many pension fund managers dispute that critique, pointing out that investment returns have surpassed that over the past several decades, even if recent history has been more difficult. Still, others say the changes are long overdue and will better reflect the funding situations of public employee pension funds.

Which also explains why Greenville went to Fitch not Moody’s but whatever. Put simply this means people can’t blow smoke up your ass about how well investments are doing to pay for pensions. Most pensions are lucky to get around 2% on their investments and that’s no where near enough to keep from going bankrupt. Neither is 7% by the way.

So again – buy Greenville bonds and you’re a sucker.

Mother of the Year Locks Infant in Hot Car While Running World’s Stupidest Scam

This did not happen in Greenville but it’s such an asinine story I wanted to put it up. Christina Parris was arrested at a Home Depot where, according to reports, she was using counterfeit checks to buy materials that she planned on selling later. When she was arrested she had her two month old baby locked in her car which was not running and all the windows were up essentially turning the vehicle into a solar oven.

Police found the lap top and printer she was using to counterfeit checks at her house – along with $20,000.

Now here’s the problem. Buying things and reselling them isn’t illegal, it is in fact how millions of people make a living. They all do this without counterfeiting checks.

And Parris didn’t need to counterfeit checks at this point because she had $20,000 in her house to invest in buying and selling things but she kept pressing her luck. Why? I have a theory – Parris was buying things at full price and selling them at a discount so she never made enough money to cover doing business the right way. Or maybe she just really liked printing up fake checks.

Imagine if Parris put this ambition into something that wouldn’t land her in trouble with the law. What if she took out a loan or bought stuff on credit cheap and sold it for more? You know, like if she ordered incense on Amazon prime (free shipping) she could get six boxes of Nag Champa, which is very popular with the new agers and stoners, for $8. If she then sold them online or at fairs or whatever for $2 a piece she’d be making a $12 – a $4 profit for every $8 she spent. Or she could go to the used book stores and buy books cheap to sell on Amazon, that’s what those people who show up to used book sales with hand helds are doing. They’re checking prices and demand on the marketplace so they can buy something cheap and make a profit.

And none of them go to jail!

But then again if Parris was a good and honest business woman who worked hard and smart to make an honest buck we’d never know she was the kind of mother who bakes their kid in a hot car until it’s too late. So her criminal stupidity actually may have saved the life of her child.

They’re Using Hypnosis!

In Boston a woman claims some thieves used hypnosis to steal $160,000 from her. And Boston police believe it:

Boston Police have issued a Community Alert about a new scam. It’s one very similar to those that have already emerged in Asian communities in New York, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.

In the Boston case, the victim claims three young women approached her on the street. One of the women asked her a series of questions – all in Cantonese — about her family.

In the span of just a few minutes, the victim alleges the women hypnotized her without her permission and convinced her to go back home and put all of her valuables in a bag.

When all was said and done, the victim handed over to these women $160,000 in cash and jewelry.

Uh-huh. She was hypnotized not paying off a gambbling debt her husband didn’t know about.

But if Boston police are concerned about people getting hypnotized and turned into thralls of evil mind controlling villains there are bigger fish to fry. The Osirian Portal is still on the loose, and known to use hypnosis in what has been determined to be the most illegal move in professional wrestling history:

Simpsonville Man Has Identity Stolen and Used in Odessa, Texas

From OA Online which is a Texas paper:

A Simpsonville, S.C. man reported someone used the identifying information from his credit card to make purchases between 8 a.m. March 18 to 8 a.m. March 20 in the 3000 block of East Highway 80.

Word on the street is that this has to do with the back and forth of illegal aliens so watch your information when you’re shopping for a new”narco” hat.

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