7 U.S. Code § 2024 - Violations and enforcement

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(a) In general
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Secretary may provide for the issuance or presentment for redemption of benefits to such person or persons, and at such times and in such manner, as the Secretary deems necessary or appropriate to protect the interests of the United States or to ensure enforcement of the provisions of this chapter or the regulations issued pursuant to this chapter.
(b) Unauthorized use, transfer, acquisition, alteration, or possession of benefits
(1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection, whoever knowingly uses, transfers, acquires, alters, or possesses benefits in any manner contrary to this chapter or the regulations issued pursuant to this chapter shall, if such benefits are of a value of $5,000 or more, be guilty of a felony and shall be fined not more than $250,000 or imprisoned for not more than twenty years, or both, and shall, if such benefits are of a value of $100 or more, but less than $5,000, or if the item used, transferred, acquired, altered, or possessed is an  [1] benefit that has a value of $100 or more, but less than $5,000, be guilty of a felony and shall, upon the first conviction thereof, be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both, and, upon the second and any subsequent conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not less than six months nor more than five years and may also be fined not more than $10,000 or, if such benefits are of a value of less than $100, or if the item used, transferred, acquired, altered, or processed is an  [1] benefit that has a value of less than $100, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon the first conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both, and upon the second and any subsequent conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not more than one year and may also be fined not more than $1,000. In addition to such penalties, any person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor violation under this subsection may be suspended by the court from participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program for an additional period of up to eighteen months consecutive to that period of suspension mandated by section 2015 (b)(1) of this title.
(2) In the case of any individual convicted of an offense under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the court may permit such individual to perform work approved by the court for the purpose of providing restitution for losses incurred by the United States and the State agency as a result of the offense for which such individual was convicted. If the court permits such individual to perform such work and such individual agrees thereto, the court shall withhold the imposition of the sentence on the condition that such individual perform the assigned work. Upon the successful completion of the assigned work the court may suspend such sentence.
(c) Presentation for payment or redemption of benefits that have been illegally received, transferred, or used
Whoever presents, or causes to be presented, benefits for payment or redemption of the value of $100 or more, knowing the same to have been received, transferred, or used in any manner in violation of the provisions of this chapter or the regulations issued pursuant to this chapter, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon the first conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $20,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both, and, upon the second and any subsequent conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not less than one year nor more than five years and may also be fined not more than $20,000, or, if such benefits are of a value of less than $100, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon the first conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both, and, upon the second and any subsequent conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned for not more than one year and may also be fined not more than $1,000. In addition to such penalties, any person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor violation under this subsection may be suspended by the court from participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program for an additional period of up to eighteen months consecutive to that period of suspension mandated by section 2015 (b)(1) of this title.
(d) Benefits as obligations of the United States
Benefits issued pursuant to this chapter shall be deemed to be obligations of the United States within the meaning of section 8 of title 18.
(e) Forfeiture of property involved in illegal benefit transactions
The Secretary may subject to forfeiture and denial of property rights any nonfood items, moneys, negotiable instruments, securities, or other things of value that are furnished by any person in exchange for benefits, or anything of value obtained by use of an access device, in any manner contrary to this chapter or the regulations issued under this chapter. Any forfeiture and disposal of property forfeited under this subsection shall be conducted in accordance with procedures contained in regulations issued by the Secretary.
(f) Criminal forfeiture
(1) In general
In imposing a sentence on a person convicted of an offense in violation of subsection (b) or (c) of this section, a court shall order, in addition to any other sentence imposed under this section, that the person forfeit to the United States all property described in paragraph (2).
(2) Property subject to forfeiture
All property, real and personal, used in a transaction or attempted transaction, to commit, or to facilitate the commission of, a violation (other than a misdemeanor) of subsection (b) or (c) of this section, or proceeds traceable to a violation of subsection (b) or (c) of this section, shall be subject to forfeiture to the United States under paragraph (1).
(3) Interest of owner
No interest in property shall be forfeited under this subsection as the result of any act or omission established by the owner of the interest to have been committed or omitted without the knowledge or consent of the owner.
(4) Proceeds
The proceeds from any sale of forfeited property and any monies forfeited under this subsection shall be used—
(A) first, to reimburse the Department of Justice for the costs incurred by the Department to initiate and complete the forfeiture proceeding;
(B) second, to reimburse the Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General for any costs the Office incurred in the law enforcement effort resulting in the forfeiture;
(C) third, to reimburse any Federal or State law enforcement agency for any costs incurred in the law enforcement effort resulting in the forfeiture; and
(D) fourth, by the Secretary to carry out the approval, reauthorization, and compliance investigations of retail stores and wholesale food concerns under section 2018 of this title.


[1]  So in original. Probably should be “a”.

Source

(Pub. L. 88–525, § 15,Aug. 31, 1964, 78 Stat. 708; Pub. L. 91–671, § 8,Jan. 11, 1971, 84 Stat. 2052; Pub. L. 93–347, § 2,July 12, 1974, 88 Stat. 341; Pub. L. 95–113, title XIII, § 1301,Sept. 29, 1977, 91 Stat. 975; Pub. L. 96–249, title I, § 124,May 26, 1980, 94 Stat. 363; Pub. L. 97–98, title XIII, § 1324,Dec. 22, 1981, 95 Stat. 1288; Pub. L. 101–624, title XVII, §§ 1747(a), (c), 1748, 1749,Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3796, 3797; Pub. L. 104–193, title VIII, § 846,Aug. 22, 1996, 110 Stat. 2334; Pub. L. 110–234, title IV, §§ 4001(b), 4115(b)(10), May 22, 2008 122 Stat. 1092, 1107; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title IV, §§ 4001(b), 4115(b)(10),June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1853, 1869.)
Codification

Pub. L. 110–234and Pub. L. 110–246made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234were repealed by section 4(a) ofPub. L. 110–246.
Amendments

2008—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 110–246, § 4115(b)(10)(A), substituted “benefits” for “coupons”.
Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 110–246, § 4115(b)(10)(B), substituted “possesses benefits” for “possesses coupons, authorization cards, or access devices”, “such benefits are of a value of $5,000” for “such coupons, authorization cards, or access devices are of a value of $5,000”, “such benefits are of a value of $100” for “such coupons or authorization cards are of a value of $100”, and “such benefits are of a value of less than $100” for “such coupons or authorization cards are of a value of less than $100”, and substituted “benefit” for “access device” in two places.
Pub. L. 110–246, § 4001(b), substituted “supplemental nutrition assistance program” for “food stamp program”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 110–246, § 4115(b)(10)(C), substituted “benefits” for “coupons” in two places.
Pub. L. 110–246, § 4001(b), substituted “supplemental nutrition assistance program” for “food stamp program”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 110–246, § 4115(b)(10)(D), substituted “Benefits” for “Coupons”.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 110–246, § 4115(b)(10)(G), which directed amendment of subsec. (e) by substituting “benefits” for “coupon, authorization cards or access devices”, was executed by making the substitution for “coupons, authorization cards or access devices”, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
Pub. L. 110–246, § 4115(b)(10)(E), (F), redesignatedsubsec. (g) as (e) and struck out former subsec. (e) which read as follows: “Any coupon issuer or any officer, employee, or agent thereof convicted of failing to provide the report required under section 2016 (d) of this title or of violating the regulations issued under section 2016 (d) and (e) of this title shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.”
Subsecs. (f) to (h). Pub. L. 110–246, § 4115(b)(10)(E), (F), redesignatedsubsecs. (g) and (h) as (e) and (f), respectively, and struck out former subsec. (f) which read as follows: “Any coupon issuer or any officer, employee, or agent thereof convicted of knowingly providing false information in the report required under section 2016 (d) of this title shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
1996—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 104–193, § 846(a), struck out “or intended to be furnished” after “that are furnished”.
Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 104–193, § 846(b), added subsec. (h).
1990—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 101–624, § 1748, inserted “if such coupons, authorization cards, or access devices are of a value of $5,000 or more, be guilty of a felony and shall be fined not more than $250,000 or imprisoned for not more than twenty years, or both, and shall,” after “chapter shall”, and inserted “but less than $5,000,” after “$100 or more” in two places.
Pub. L. 101–624, § 1747(a), substituted “, authorization cards, or access devices in any manner contrary to” for “or authorization cards in any manner not authorized by”, and inserted “or if the item used, transferred, acquired, altered, or possessed is an access device that has a value of $100 or more,” after “a value of $100 or more,”, and inserted “or if the item used, transferred, acquired, altered, or processed is an access device that has a value of less than $100,” after “a value of less than $100,”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–624, § 1749, substituted “$20,000” for “$10,000” in two places.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 101–624, § 1747(c), substituted “, authorization cards or access devices, or anything of value obtained by use of an access device, in any manner contrary to” for “or authorization cards in any manner not authorized by”.
1981—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–98designated existing provision as par. (1), inserted provisions specifying the minimum and maximum sentences for the second and any subsequent convictions for felonies and misdemeanors and provision authorizing the court to suspend a person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor under this subsection from participation in the food stamp program for an additional period of up to eighteen months consecutive to that period of suspension mandated by section 2015 (b)(1) of this title, and added par. (2).
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 97–98inserted provisions specifying the minimum and maximum sentences for the second and any subsequent convictions for felonies and misdemeanors and provision authorizing the court to suspend a person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor under this subsection from participation in the food stamp program for an additional period of up to eighteen months consecutive to that period of suspension mandated by section 2015 (b)(1) of this title.
1980—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 96–249added subsec. (g).
1977—Pub. L. 95–113substituted revised provisions relating to violations and enforcement for provisions relating to the State financing of administrative costs which are now covered by section 2025 of this title.
1974—Pub. L. 93–347authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to pay each State agency 50 percent of all the State agency’s costs in administering the Food Stamp Program and required that each State make reports from time to time at the request of the Secretary of Agriculture on the effectiveness of the administration of the Food Stamp Program in that State.
1971—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 91–671struck out “cooperate with State agencies in the certification of households which are not receiving any type of public assistance so as to insure the effective certification of such households in accordance with the eligibility standards approved under the provisions of section 2019 of this title. Such cooperation shall include payments to State agencies for part of the cost they incur in the certification of such households” after “is authorized to”, and in providing for payments to State agencies, increased percentage from 50 to 621/2, and substituted cl. (1) provisions for travel and travel-related cost of personnel for such time as they are employed in taking the action required under section 2019 (e) of this title and in making certification determinations for households other than those which consist solely of recipients of welfare assistance for prior cl. (1) for direct salary costs of personnel used to make interviews and such postinterview investigations as are necessary to certify eligibility of such households, for periods of employment, in certifying the eligibility of such households; cl. (2) respecting direct salary, travel, and travel-related costs (including such fringe benefits as are normally paid) of personnel for time of employment as hearing officials under section 2019 (e) of this title for prior cl. (2) respecting travel and related costs incurred by personnel in postinterview field investigations of households, and deleted cl. (3) for an amount not to exceed 25 per centum of the costs computed under former cls. (1) and (2).
Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234by Pub. L. 110–246effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, except as otherwise provided, see section 4 ofPub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of this title.
Amendment by sections 4001(b) and 4115(b)(10) ofPub. L. 110–246effective Oct. 1, 2008, see section 4407 ofPub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section 1161 of Title 2, The Congress.
Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–98effective on earlier of Sept. 8, 1982, or date such amendment became effective pursuant to section 1338 ofPub. L. 97–98, set out as a note under section 2012 of this title, see section 192(b) ofPub. L. 97–253, set out as a note under section 2012 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 97–98effective upon such date as Secretary of Agriculture may prescribe, taking into account need for orderly implementation, see section 1338 ofPub. L. 97–98, set out as a note under section 2012 of this title.
Effective Date of 1977 Amendment

Pub. L. 95–113, title XIII, § 1301,Sept. 29, 1977, 91 Stat. 958, provided that the amendment made by section 1301 is effective Oct. 1, 1977.

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7 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large
§ 20242014113-79 [Sec.] 4030(h)128 Stat. 814

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7 CFR - Agriculture

7 CFR Part 15 - NONDISCRIMINATION

7 CFR Part 253 - ADMINISTRATION OF THE FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM FOR HOUSEHOLDS ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS

7 CFR Part 271 - GENERAL INFORMATION AND DEFINITIONS

7 CFR Part 272 - REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATING STATE AGENCIES

7 CFR Part 273 - CERTIFICATION OF ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLDS

7 CFR Part 274 - ISSUANCE AND USE OF PROGRAM BENEFITS

7 CFR Part 275 - PERFORMANCE REPORTING SYSTEM

7 CFR Part 276 - STATE AGENCY LIABILITIES AND FEDERAL SANCTIONS

7 CFR Part 277 - PAYMENTS OF CERTAIN ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS OF STATE AGENCIES

7 CFR Part 278 - PARTICIPATION OF RETAIL FOOD STORES, WHOLESALE FOOD CONCERNS AND INSURED FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

7 CFR Part 279 - ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL REVIEW—FOOD RETAILERS AND FOOD WHOLESALERS

7 CFR Part 280 - EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE FOR VICTIMS OF DISASTERS

7 CFR Part 281 - ADMINISTRATION OF THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS

7 CFR Part 282 - DEMONSTRATION, RESEARCH, AND EVALUATION PROJECTS

7 CFR Part 283 - APPEALS OF QUALITY CONTROL (“QC”) CLAIMS

7 CFR Part 285 - PROVISION OF A NUTRITION ASSISTANCE GRANT FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO

 

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