USDA’s Office of the Inspector General is auditing food box program, packing plants, CFAP

USDA’s Office of the Inspector General announced more than $360 million dollars in mismanaged money and fraud.

The office told lawmakers that it is also working on audits specifically for pandemic response, including “Farmers-to-Families” and worker safety programs at packing plants.

The IG said that it got the most complaints about fraud within CFAP.

According to the Deputy Inspector General, Ann Coffey, “The majority of them involved false statements or false certifications, individuals who are providing false information in order to obtain the benefits and they would not normally be able to obtain them if they had completed them. We’ve also seen some level of redirecting individuals who, I don’t want to say identity theft, but individuals who were applying for benefits who don’t have any farming production or any interest in the agricultural sector have applied for the benefits.”

The IG did not provide an estimate of fraudulent CFAP payments, but Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters that he plans to address these concerns, as well as questions about equitable distribution before the agency reopens the latest round.