7 CFR 276.3 - Negligence or fraud.
(a)General. If FNS determines that there has been negligence or fraud on the part of the State agency in the certification of applicant households, the State agency shall, upon demand, pay to FNS a sum equal to the amount of coupons issued as a result of such negligence or fraud.
(1) FNS may determine that a State agency has been negligent in the certification of applicant households if a State agency disregards Food Stamp Program requirements contained in the Food Stamp Act, the regulations issued pursuant to the Act, the FNS-approved State Plan of Operation and a loss of Federal funds results or a State agency implements procedures which deviate from food stamp requirements contained in the Food Stamp Act, the food stamp regulations, the FNS-approved State Plan of Operation without first obtaining FNS approval, and the implementation of the procedures results in a loss of Federal funds.
(2) In computing amounts of losses of Federal funds due to negligence, FNS may use actual, documented amounts or amounts which have been determined through the use of statistically valid projections. When a statistically valid projection is used, the methodology will include a 95 percent, one-sided confidence level.
(3) FNS will base its determinations of negligence on information drawn from any of a number of sources. These information sources include, but are not limited to, State and Federal Performance Reporting reviews, State and Federal audits and investigations, State corrective action plans and any required reports.
(4) Failure by the State agency to remit payment upon demand, within the specified time period, may result in FNS recovering the lost funds through offsets to the State agency's Letter of Credit, in accordance with § 277.16(c).
(c)Fraud provisions. For purposes of this subsection, the term fraud shall mean the wrongful acquisition or issuance of food coupons by the State agency or its officers, employees or agents, including issuance agents, through false representation or concealment of material facts. State agencies shall be liable to FNS for the amount of loss of Federal funds as a result of fraud. Failure by the State agency to remit payment on demand by FNS, within the time period specified, may result in offsets to the Letter of Credit in accordance with § 277.16(c).