CHAPTER 386

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 590

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 6, TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FOOD STAMPS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Chapter 6, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by designating §§601, 602 and 603 as "Subchapter I. General Provisions.".

Section 2. Amend Chapter 6, Title 31 of the Delaware Code by deleting §604 in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"Subchapter II. Food Stamp Trafficking Control Act.

§610. Unauthorized use, transfer, acquisition, alteration, or possession of food stamp coupons, Authorization to Participate Vouchers (ATPs), or access devices; Penalties; Disqualification from the food stamp program; Forfeiture.

(a) Whoever knowingly uses, transfers, acquires, alters, or possesses food stamp coupons, authorization cards, ATPs or access devices in any manner not authorized by the federal Food Stamp Act (7 U.S.C. §§2011, et. seq.) or regulations issued pursuant to the Food Stamp Act; or who presents for payment or redemption coupons that have been illegally received, transferred, altered or used shall:

if such food stamp coupons, authorization cards, or ATPs are of a value of $500 or more or the item used, transferred, acquired, altered or possessed is an access device that has a value of $500 or more, be guilty of a Class E felony.

if such coupons, authorization cards, or ATPs are of a value of less than $500 or if the item used, transferred, acquired, altered or possessed is an access device that has a value of less than $500 shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

in any prosecution under this section where there is a finding that the proceeds of the trafficking involves firearms ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances as defined under 21 U.S.C. §802 be guilty of a Class B felony.

(b) In addition to the penalties set forth in subsection (a) of this

section, any person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor under this section may be suspended by the court from participation in the food stamp program for an additional period of up to eighteen months consecutive to that period of suspension mandated by the federal Food Stamp Act pursuant to 7 U.S.C. §2015(b)(1).

§611. Forfeiture of property involved in illegal food stamp transactions.

The Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services or his designee may subject to forfeiture and denial of property rights any non-food items, monies, negotiable instruments, securities, or other things of value that are furnished or intended to be furnished by any person in exchange for coupons, authorization cards, ATPs or anything of value obtained by the use of an access device, in any manner not authorized by the federal Food Stamp Act or regulations issued pursuant to the Food Stamp Act.

Any forfeiture and disposal of property under this section shall be conducted in accordance with procedures contained in regulations issued by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services. Property forfeited under this section may be utilized by the Welfare Fraud Unit until such time as the forfeited property may be liquidated.

(c) Value received for liquidated property shall be Appropriated to the Welfare Fraud Unit for its use at the discretion of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services or his designee.

§612. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

'Access device' means any card, plate, code, account number, or other means of access that can be used, alone or in conjunction with another access device, to obtain payments, allotments, benefits, money, goods or other things of value, or that can be used to initiate a transfer of funds under the federal Food Stamp Act or regulations issued pursuant to the Food Stamp Act.

'Value' means the sum of the face value of all food stamp coupons, ATPs, or access devices possessed, transferred or converted from one scheme or course of conduct, whether from one or several rightful possessors, at the same or different times and which may constitute a single criminal episode. The face values may be aggregated in determining the grade of offense."

Approved July 16, 1992.