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Ohio partners with feds to target food-stamp fraud

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The state of Ohio is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to crack down on food stamp fraud.

The Dayton Daily News reports that the USDA will provide training and data-mining assistance to identify suspicious patterns of benefit redemption that could indicate illegal activities. The state and federal agency will share information about their transactions.

The USDA is in charge of investigating food stamp fraud by retailers and vendors. The state and county agencies are in charge of investigating fraud among residents who receive food benefits.

The USDA estimates that about 1 percent of food stamp benefits are misappropriated because of fraud. The program distributed $74.6 billion in fiscal year 2012 — that means about $746 million was lost to fraud.

The partnership was announced Tuesday.

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