Buying Food Stamps

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Crime of “Buying Food Stamps” in Pennsylvania

Contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers to learn your rights and options concerning any crime for buying food stamps or other charge. We analyze the charges against you and provide a realistic view of your situation. Below you will find the actual text of the Pennsylvania statute governing buying food stamps charges in Pennsylvania. This was current as of July 2010. Our Pittsburgh criminal defense law firm is primarily in the business of fighting for defendants’ rights; we are not in the business of updating websites, but wanted to at least give you some information for educational purposes, only. You should talk to a lawyer for legal advice to fully learn your rights in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. We will explain to you the food stamp-related crime, possible punishment, and all your options.

The Crime of Buying Food Stamps
18 Pa.C.S.A. § 7313. Buying or exchanging Federal food order coupons, stamps, authorization cards or access devices

(a) OFFENSE DEFINED.– A person commits the offense of buying or exchanging Federal food order coupons, stamps, authorization cards or access devices if he, not being authorized to do so by the United States Department of Agriculture, buys or exchanges Federal food order coupons, stamps, authorization cards or access devices for currency, or if he accepts or causes to be accepted Federal food order coupons, stamps, authorization cards or access devices in exchange for any merchandise or article except food, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture, or Federal food order coupons, stamps, authorization cards or access devices in exchange for merchandise or articles, not defined by the United States Department of Agriculture to be surplus foods.

(b) GRADING.– A person who violates this section commits a felony of the third degree if the amount involved is $ 1,000 or more. If the amount involved is less than $ 1,000, the person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree. Amounts involved in buying or exchanging Federal food order coupons, stamps, authorization cards or access devices committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, whether from the same person or several persons, shall be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.

(c) DEFINITIONS.– As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

“ACCESS DEVICE.” The Pennsylvania ACCESS card or electronic benefit transfer card.

“AUTHORIZATION CARD.” The paper authorization to participate that a person signs and then exchanges for the designated amount of food coupons at a bank.

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