EBT Misuse Penalties

Penalties for Unlawful Receiving, Conversion, or Transfer of Public Assistance or EBT Cards

As of August 28, 2013, the following are some, but not necessarily all, of the criminal offenses related to EBT use:

UNLAWFULLY RECEIVING
Individual knowingly receives or uses the proceeds of public assistance or EBT card to which individual is not lawfully entitled, or for which individual has not applied and been approved to receive
UNLAWFUL CONVERSION
Individual knowingly engages in a transaction to convert public assistance benefits or EBT cards to other property contrary to state of federal statues, rules, and regulations
UNLAWFUL TRANSFER
Individual knowingly transfers public assistance benefits or EBT cards to another not lawfully entitled or approved to receive

Any person found guilty of such offenses could be guilty of:

  • CLASS A Misdemeanor when value of benefits or EBT cards is less than $500
  • CLASS D Felony when value is $500 or more
  • CLASS D Felony for second offense when value is less than $500
  • CLASS C Felony for second or subsequent felony offenses

If an individual is found guilty of a felony offense, they may be required to serve not less than 120 days in Missouri Department of Corrections unless full restitution is paid to the state of Missouri within 30 days of execution of sentence.

If an individual is found guilty of any offense, they must pay full restitution (pay back) to the state of Missouri. If they are placed on probation for the offense, they cannot be released from probation until full restitution is paid.

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