Meat company accused of 'food stamp fraud on wheels'

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by CHRIS INGALLS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @cjingalls

KING5.com

Posted on June 7, 2012 at 11:53 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 8 at 8:58 AM

SPANAWAY, Wash. -- Police and federal agents raided a business they say is behind a crime against taxpayers.
 
The Iowa Steak Company sells boxes of frozen meat and seafood door-to-door. But KING 5 News learned investigators have been looking into this company for months and accuse it of food stamp fraud on wheels.
 
Sources tell the KING 5 Investigators the door-to-door salesman have been wheeling and dealing with buyers who used their food stamp or EBT cards. The company is a licensed food stamp merchant.
 
Sources say in recent undercover stings, Everett police and federal agents traded food stamps for cash from Iowa Steak salemen. Sources say several Iowa Steak drivers conducted the illegal tranasctions with officers posing as food stamp customers.
 
One-by-one, Iowa Steak Company salesmen were questioned by law officers Thursday evening.
  
The drivers returned to their Spanaway warehouse, their home base, to find it swarming with police officers and state and federal agents.
  
It's a new twist on an old crime. KING 5 investigations have shown how grocery store merchants pay 50 cents on the dollar for food stamps, a state and federal crime.
   
They then double their money when they redeem the food stamps for full value from the federal government.

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