Man critically injured trying to sell food benefits card, police say
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
A man is in critical condition after he was shot trying to sell his Link Card Wednesday, police said.
It's illegal to sell a Link Card, which are government-issued for people to buy groceries.
It can be a felony to misuse a Link Card, which can be considered a debit card, said Sangamon County First Assistant State's Attorney Dan Wright.
"Anytime there's a shooting in our community, it's very disturbing and something that our office takes very seriously," Wright said. "Separate from that, the sale of a debit card is also a criminal office. It's a felony offense."
If convicted, misusing a Link Card can carry as many as three years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Wright said it's disheartening to know people are misusing cards that are intended to provide food.
"It's very disturbing and we want to make sure those benefits are used appropriately, and those who are most in need in our community," Wright said.
A shooting by itself can carry as much as 30 years in prison regardless of whether or not it's fatal.
"Shooting someone constitutes the offense of aggravated battery with a firearm which is a Class X felony under Illinois law, subject to imprisonment between six and 30 years," he said.
Police continue to search for those responsible.
If you suspect Link cards or any other cash assistance fraud, you can report it to the Medicaid and Welfare Fraud Hotline at 1-844-453-7283 or 1-844-ILFRAUD.