DETROIT (CBS Detroit) What do you call it when a retailer overcharges on something else to let a Bridge Card holder charge lottery tickets or liquor? It’s called fraud.

And state representatives Roger Victory and Gail Haines announced legislation Monday meant to penalize retailers for committing Bridge Card fraud.

House Bills 4360 and 4361 punish retailers who abuse the state’s welfare system by allowing card holders to purchase liquor or lottery tickets.

“It is my job to protect hard-working Michigan taxpayers from waste and abuse of our welfare system as well as protect our retailers from unfair competition,” said Victory, R-Hudsonville. “This legislation is an attempt to penalize those few retailers who abuse the state’s welfare system and discourage Bridge Card fraud in the future.”

Per the bills, businesses with a liquor or lotto license caught trafficking Bridge Cards would have their license suspended for 60 days for the first offense, and would have their license revoked on the second offense.

“There are some businesses that willingly and repeatedly defraud the system,” said Haines, R-Waterford. “This legislation is designed to prevent this type of fraud from happening in the future by creating steeper penalties for those businesses that continue to break the law.”

The bills are a reintroduction of House Bills 5962 and 5963 from last term. The bills were passed unanimously out of the Regulatory Reform Committee at the end of the 2011-2012 legislative session.


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