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  #241  
Old 06 June 2011, 02:54 PM
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UEL UEL is offline
 
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OK, I'm unclear where this line is going:

Quote:
Nast says they are still considering charges for the three or four people they believe bought the food from Cuff.
What is the alleged offence?

I can see it if there was a conspiracy to do this among 5 people, but if Mr Cuff approached the others and said that he can provide steak and lobster for 70 bucks, how does this make the purchaser an offender?
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  #242  
Old 06 June 2011, 02:56 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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If they knew he bought the food with food stamps, that might constitute a crime. Purchasing goods known to be stolen is a crime, IIRC, even though the purchaser didn't steal anything.
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  #243  
Old 06 June 2011, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
What is the alleged offence?

...how does this make the purchaser an offender?
It is illegal to purchase food stamp benefits for cash.
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  #244  
Old 06 June 2011, 03:21 PM
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UEL UEL is offline
 
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I've got that.

But how is the purchaser supposed to know that they are food stamp benefits?

Unless it is brought up in conversation, I'm not certain the purchaser would know.
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  #245  
Old 06 June 2011, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
I've got that.

But how is the purchaser supposed to know that they are food stamp benefits?

Unless it is brought up in conversation, I'm not certain the purchaser would know.
I think it's something like the crime 'Receiving Stolen Goods'. The person buying is resposible for ascertaining that they are buying something legally. In both cases, the deep discount price and sketchy means of selling our often a dead give away.
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  #246  
Old 06 June 2011, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
But how is the purchaser supposed to know that they are food stamp benefits?
Unless it is brought up in conversation, I'm not certain the purchaser would know.
I have been approached a few times by food stamp recipients attempting the same 50 cents on the dollar sale, and, at least in my very limited experience, they don't make it a secret. Also, the card has a fairly distinctive look to it, at least in this state--I've not seen other states' cards to speak to those.
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  #247  
Old 06 June 2011, 03:48 PM
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If somebody came up to me on the street and tried to sell me food commonly available for purchase at grocery stores, at a price considerably less than a grocery store would charge, I'd immediately suspect some sort of monkey business was afoot. I would expect any prudent adult to be suspicious of such an offer.
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  #248  
Old 06 June 2011, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill View Post
Update:

http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/...-welfare-fraud

A man has been charged with buying food and then selling it for about 50 cents on the dollar.

One of the receipts "which someone found" matches the details of the receipt in the original post (the number of lobster tails and porterhouse steaks, the soda, and the amount of $141.78).

The article makes the point that the purchase of the luxury items is not illegal, but turning around and selling them is.

Thanks.

Bill
I am just going to quote myself here.

I think people forget in the end that is your tax money being spent and you should be a little disgusted when it is being wasted. Instead of screaming tax the "rich" maybe we should be saying why are wasting so much money?
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  #249  
Old 06 June 2011, 04:44 PM
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UEL UEL is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
I think it's something like the crime 'Receiving Stolen Goods'. The person buying is resposible for ascertaining that they are buying something legally. In both cases, the deep discount price and sketchy means of selling our often a dead give away.
I've got that. However, my question is less about stolen goods (how can they tell a steak in my freezer was "stolen") and more about the mens rea of an alleged offender who bought foodstuffs from the alleged seller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
I have been approached a few times by food stamp recipients attempting the same 50 cents on the dollar sale, and, at least in my very limited experience, they don't make it a secret. Also, the card has a fairly distinctive look to it, at least in this state--I've not seen other states' cards to speak to those.
Got it, hence my comments about conspiracy and conversations being had. I'll sum up this post with my (perhaps naive) scenario I have in my head. Plus, if he's selling the stuff to a neighbour, what does having a distinctive looking card have to do with it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
If somebody came up to me on the street and tried to sell me food commonly available for purchase at grocery stores, at a price considerably less than a grocery store would charge, I'd immediately suspect some sort of monkey business was afoot. I would expect any prudent adult to be suspicious of such an offer.
I'll cover that in my little scenario at the end.

I'm not trying to be obtuse. It may be where I grew up, or where I live now. But it is not uncommon for some family to buy a side of beef, for example, and have it in their freezer. Later in the year, when others may be having a BBQ, they "sell" some of their stock at around what they paid for. Their friend gets good beef at a discount price. Likewise, around here you'll find lobster and vegetables sold roadside. I'm not thinking about the shady guy who approaches me downtown, opens his trenchcoat and says "Wanna buy a lobster."

I'm certain that what I think I'm typing is not getting across in actual words. Everything you guys are saying I understand and acknowledge. I know and agree with your points. But here's my scenario that I see in my mind's eye:

John is receiving food stamps. He has four neighbours, Tim and Jeff on either side of his house, Pete across the back fence and Mike across the street. Only Tim and Pete know that John is receiving assistance. Jeff and Mike don't know, but understand that finances are tough for John and his family.

During conversation over the back fence, Jeff mentions to John that he has a company BBQ coming up. John says that he can get his hands on some steak for "wholesale" prices. Jeff takes him up on it because he knows money is tight and does not mind if John makes a small profit on the deal. Foodstamps card is used without Jeff's knowledge. Jeff pays cash for "wholesale" steak.

Tim and John are chatting. Tim asks John if he can buy some lobster because of an evening with a lady friend is coming up and he wants to treat her. John says yes. Foodstamps card is used. Tim buys his lobster not knowing, but suspecting that a foodstamps card was used.

Mike hears from Jeff about the great deal John got on steak. He approaches John about getting in on some "wholesale action". John agrees and provides using his foodstamps card. Mike is clueless as to how John got the steak.

Pete, knowing John has foodstamps card wants to create an opportunity for himself. He approaches John and offers to buy a bunch of luxury food items from him. John and Pete discuss the method of payment and timing of purchases including that it is a foodstamps card paying for it. John buys, Pete pays him back.

John, seeing what a good thing he has going, buys some lobster and sets himself up as a roadside lobster vendor out of the trunk of his car. John buys the lobster on his card. Wanda shows up and buys several lobsters and pays cash. She never sees John again.

Now, your descriptions to me lean towards the Tim to Pete part of the situation. I'm asking questions more on the Jeff, Mike and Wanda realms. I would see Pete definitely an offender, and Tim likely an offender. However, I don't see Jeff, Mike and Wanda as offenders at all.

I hope this helps me explain my point of view.
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  #250  
Old 06 June 2011, 04:57 PM
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In my experience, UEL, I've been approached by strangers while on my way into a supermarket, and the offer is something like, "hey, I need some cash, but I've got money on my food stamp card I'll trade you, 50 cents for a dollar."

While it is possible that the other scenarios happen, I have no experience of it (which makes no difference, really).
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  #251  
Old 06 June 2011, 05:03 PM
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The roadside lobster vendor is another scenario I'd expect a prudent adult to be wary of. Misuse of food stamps aside, I'd have concerns about the safety of food being sold that way.

As for the intent and mens rea of the person doing the purchasing, those are factors the prosecutor is supposed to take into consideration in filing charges.

If I were a prosecutor, I might not file charges against Wanda, but I'd strongly recommend that she be more cautious in the future.

Just out of curiosity, would anyone here actually buy lobster from a "roadside lobster vendor"?
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  #252  
Old 06 June 2011, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
In my experience, UEL, I've been approached by strangers while on my way into a supermarket, and the offer is something like, "hey, I need some cash, but I've got money on my food stamp card I'll trade you, 50 cents for a dollar."

While it is possible that the other scenarios happen, I have no experience of it (which makes no difference, really).
Now that you mention it, that's the way it could have happened. The alleged buyer(s) might have known all along because the alleged seller was soliciting in or near the store, rather than the alleged seller buying the items first and then trying to find an unknowing buyer, the scenario I thought of first.

The one time I was faced with this, the person approached me in the supermarket saying that they needed cash to get their car fixed or buy gas, and offering me the opportunity to buy my groceries off their card (I think they said it was a "gift card"). I had no idea how my buying things off their card could help them, as I had little or no cash and was going to use my credit card for my purchase. Finally, when I explained that I didn't have cash, the other person lost interest.

Thanks.

Bill

Last edited by Bill; 06 June 2011 at 05:07 PM. Reason: typo
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  #253  
Old 06 June 2011, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Just out of curiosity, would anyone here actually buy lobster from a "roadside lobster vendor"?
I would only ever buy produce from a roadside vendor. But I would definitely buy lobster from a pierside vendor!
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  #254  
Old 06 June 2011, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Just out of curiosity, would anyone here actually buy lobster from a "roadside lobster vendor"?
Especially this year, around here they are not rare, by any stretch.

Principally, the price of lobster is at near record highs sold in the grocery store, but near record lows from the fisherman to the distribution network. So, many have decided to do direct marketing, or sell to a direct marketer who sets up along roadsides.

It's happened for years here, just now it is much more common. But then again, I live near some of the most productive lobster fishing areas in North America.
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  #255  
Old 06 June 2011, 05:27 PM
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UEL, your story could be plausable if John were to rewrap the food. In that case, there is a good chance that the buyer could get charges against himself dismissed.
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  #256  
Old 06 June 2011, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Just out of curiosity, would anyone here actually buy lobster from a "roadside lobster vendor"?
Buying fresh shrimp or fish from a guy with a cooler in his truck used to be fairly common in the town I grew up in. I imagine it depends on the location. In my area it was often done if a fisherman did not catch enough weight to make it worth selling it to wholesalers. We would also buy beef (or pork, or occasionally venison) from neighbors who had just slaughtered, or had done so not long ago.

Of course, we also have guys who stand by the roadside with a big smoker made from a 55 gallon drum split lengthwise, and sell barbeque. It really may be a location thing.
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  #257  
Old 06 June 2011, 05:36 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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mmm. And the dudes selling boiled peanuts on the roadside. I weep for the lack of boiled pnuts here.
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  #258  
Old 06 June 2011, 05:37 PM
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I figured both my inland upbringing and my distaste for seafood might be skewing my perception of a roadside lobster vendor, and apparently I was correct.

Surely a roadside lobster vendor in MI would raise some flags, though.
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  #259  
Old 06 June 2011, 05:38 PM
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Boiled p-nuts are an abomination.
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  #260  
Old 06 June 2011, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I figured both my inland upbringing and my distaste for seafood might be skewing my perception of a roadside lobster vendor, and apparently I was correct.

Surely a roadside lobster vendor in MI would raise some flags, though.
In the Michigan UP, in February when they aren't catching lobsters even in Maine. I'd think it would raise some flags.
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