Florida officials announce details to halt public-assistance fraud

Florida officials are cracking down on those who rip off taxpayers by defrauding public-assistance programs — a crime estimated to cost the state as much as $1.35 billion last year.

On Tuesday, leaders from the Department of Children and Families — which handles the bulk of applications for food stamps, cash to needy families and Medicaid — announced a first-in-the-nation partnership with the private data-and-analytics company LexisNexis to use an identity-authentication process currently employed by banks and other financial institutions.

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