310:410-3-52 - WIC vendor sanctions

310:410-3-52. WIC vendor sanctions

Any Class A or B violation shall subject the vendor to reimburse the department for any overcharges, charges for items not received by WIC participants, and monies paid for products not authorized as WIC approved foods.

(1) Any Class A violation shall constitute grounds for disqualification of authorization to the WIC Program. If the department determines that disqualification of the vendor would result in inadequate participant access, the department shall impose a civil money penalty in lieu of disqualification. The length of each disqualification is listed below.

(A) Permanent disqualification: A vendor convicted of trafficking in food instruments or selling firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances (as defined in section 102 of Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)) in exchange for food instruments.

(B) Six-year disqualification:

(i) One incidence of buying or selling food instruments for cash (trafficking); or

(ii) One incidence of selling firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances as defined in 21 U.S.C. 802, in exchange for food instruments.

(C) Three-year disqualification:

(i) One incidence of sale of alcohol or alcoholic beverages or tobacco products in exchange for food instruments; or

(ii) A pattern of claiming reimbursement for sale of an amount of a specific WIC food item which exceeds the store's documented inventory of that WIC food item for a specific period of time; or

(iii) A pattern of charging participants more for WIC food than non-WIC customers or charging participants more than the current shelf or agreement price; or

(iv) A pattern of receiving, transacting and/or redeeming food instruments outside of authorized channels, including the use of an unauthorized vendor and/or an unauthorized person; or

(v) A pattern of charging for WIC food not received by the participant, proxy, or department representatives; or

(vi) A pattern of providing credit or non-food items, other than alcohol, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, cash, firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances as defined in 21 U.S.C. 802, in exchange for food instruments.

(D) One-year disqualification: A pattern of providing unauthorized food items in exchange for food instruments, including charging for supplemental foods provided in excess of those listed on the food instrument.

(E) Disqualification period equal to Food Stamp Program disqualification:

(i) Permanent disqualification, disqualification or suspension from participation in the USDA Food Stamp Program, or imposition of a civil money penalty by the Food Stamp Program;

(ii) Such sanction shall not be subject to administrative or judicial review under the WIC program.

(F) Voluntary withdrawal or non-renewal of agreement:

(i) The department shall not accept voluntary withdrawal of the vendor from the Program as an alternative to disqualification for violations listed in this section, but shall enter the disqualification on the record; or

(ii) The department shall not use non-renewal of the vendor agreement as an alternative to disqualification.

(G) Civil Money Penalty (For each violation subject to a mandatory sanction):

(i) The department shall impose a Civil Money Penalty in lieu of WIC Program disqualification if such disqualification of the vendor would result in inadequate WIC participant access.

(ii) The civil money penalty shall not exceed $11,000 for each violation and shall not exceed $44,000 for a single investigation.

(2) Any Class B violation shall constitute grounds for the following sanctions:

(A) For the first Class B violation, the WIC retail vendor shall be given written notice of the violation and shall be given an administrative warning.

(B) For the second Class B violation committed within one (1) year of the first Class B violation, the vendor shall be subject to a fine assessment of five hundred dollars ($500). The vendor shall also be required to attend a compliance training workshop.

(C) The third Class B violation committed within two (2) years of the first Class B violation shall subject the vendor to a fine assessment of one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(D) The fourth Class B violation committed within two (2) years of the first Class B violation shall be grounds for termination of the vendor authorization, and to a fine assessment of two thousand, five hundred dollars ($2,500).

(3) Any Class C violation shall constitute issuance of an administrative warning. Five (5) Class C violations within a one (1) year period shall be grounds for termination of the vendor authorization for a period of one (1) year.

(4) Second mandatory sanction, a vendor, who previously has been assessed a sanction for any of the violations listed in this part, receives another sanction for any of these violations, the department shall double the sanction.

(5) Third or subsequent mandatory sanction, a vendor, who previously has been assessed two or more sanctions for any of the violations in this part, receives another sanction for any of these violations, the department shall double the third sanction and all subsequent sanctions. The department shall not impose civil money penalties in lieu of disqualification for third or subsequent sanctions for violations listed in this part.

(6) The time period shall commence from the time the notice of violation, termination, or fine assessment is issued by the department.

(7) All fine assessments shall be paid by cashier certified check or money order in United States currency.

Added at 10 Ok Reg 4203, eff 8-1-93 (emergency); Added at 11 Ok Reg 3823, eff 7-11-94; Amended at 16 Ok Reg 2505, eff 6-25-99; Amended at 17 Ok Reg 1600, eff 5-25-00; Amended at 22 Ok Reg 741, eff 5-12-05; Amended at 25 Ok Reg 870, eff 5-11-08

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