A 21-year-old Bradenton man was arrested after authorities say he sold a food stamp card on Craigslist, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.
Eddie Gentsch was arrested last week and also faces charges including exploitation of an elderly person and communicating to obtain fraudulent property, the sheriff's office said.
Authorities said the arrest, which was a collaboration by the sheriff's office, the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Financial Services, was the first of its kind resulting from state agencies and local law enforcement across the state to monitor social media sites for this type of fraud.
“We appreciate the hard work of our partners in pursuing this case and ensuring that those who defraud the government are brought to justice,” said DCF Secretary David Wilkins. “We want people to know that it is illegal to buy and sell food stamp cards, and we will be working with law enforcement across the state to continue combating this crime.”
DCF and DFS regularly monitor social media sites to prevent fraud, according to the sheriff's office.
“The fraud in Florida’s public assistance programs costs honest Floridians millions each year,” CFO Jeff Atwater said. “The collaborative work across multiple law enforcement, state, local and national agencies is key to putting these criminals behinds bars. These efforts keep dollars from those who cheat the system and help protect those who need it most. I’m proud of the work done by everyone involved in this case.”