Are Taxpayer Dollars Paying for Lap Dances?

posted at 7:21 pm on March 9, 2016 by Kristina Ribali

Reports show welfare benefits are being used at strip clubs.

It appears so.

The taxpayers of Massachusetts have been unknowingly paying for improper spending of their welfare benefits that may very well include paying for dances at strip clubs. An investigation by WWLP, found that “Massachusetts welfare recipients took out more than $236-million in cash in one year.”

The station went through more than one million EBT withdrawals at ATMs from September 2014 to August 2015 and found that money was being taken out at “Hy-Line Cruises in Hyannis, $3,000 at Logan International Airport, the Framingham Police Department, a gun club in Hudson, and during a Chris Brown and separate Incubus concerts at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield. EBT money was also taken out at three strip clubs in the state, including the Magic Lantern in Palmer.”

Massachusetts welfare recipients are not allowed to purchase beer or alcohol with their EBT cards, but the WWLP investigation uncovered that $852,750 of EBT money was “taken out at ATM’s inside places we identified as package or liquor stores.”

Now the state can’t be exactly sure how that money is spent, but it’s not a stretch to believe that if you withdraw money at a strip club or liquor store, you’re using the money at that location. That’s taxpayer money that is supposed to help feed struggling families and pay for day to day expenses, not subsidize alcohol or strip club habits.

Sadly people are willing to abuse the generosity of hard-working taxpayers in a number of revolting ways.

It appears that taxpayers in Massachusetts are also subsidizing a millionaire. Police discovered that Gary Bonds was still collecting welfare benefits even after winning $1 million on a scratch off lottery ticket.

During the investigation into his activity, police “raided Bonds at his tax-payer subsidized housing, and they discovered cocaine, brass knuckles, a machete, and a marijuana growing operation.”

Let’s recap here.

So far, we have a man and his wife living in a taxpayer subsidized Section 8 housing, a man who has prior felonies on his record. The pair are collecting food stamps, also at the expense of taxpayers, and continued to receive benefits after winning one million dollars on a $10 scratch off ticket that they purchased with extra money that they had available to gamble away. Authorities learned that the man and woman also had a marijuana cultivation set up complete with artificial lights and plastic pots. Cocaine was found on the premises.

So Massachusetts taxpayers were subsidizing housing and food stamps for a couple that won the lottery and using their money to grow and traffic illegal drugs. Try to not be outraged the next time you look at the tax withholdings on your paycheck.

Using proven tactics to reduce fraud, this could have been avoided, saving taxpayers their hard earned dollars and keeping benefits in the hands of those who need it the most. It’s time to start pressing our leaders to tackling this problem head on with proven solutions.

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Kristina Ribali is the Senior Coalitions Director for the Foundation for Government Accountability.  Follow her on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on health care and welfare reform.

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