SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — We have an update to a KELOLAND News 2017 investigation into a former administrator of South Dakota’s Food Stamp Program.

Julie Osnes now runs a South Dakota consulting firm.  She was accused of helping states break federal laws in order to get big bonuses.
Osnes has now agreed to pay a hefty fine to the government.

Julie Osnes’ consulting company must pay $751,571 for allegedly faking food stamp quality control data so her clients and her company could benefit financially.

The federal government says Osnes advised states she worked with between 2008 and 2013 to manipulate data to falsely reduce their error rates for the SNAP program.

Julie Osnes Consulting got a performance bonus for low error rates in Wisconsin, earning nearly three-quarters of a million dollars during the course of the company’s contract, the amount she now must pay back to the federal government.

Osnes’ bio on the Julie Osnes consulting firm website touts her experience running South Dakota’s Department of Social Services Food Stamp Program. 

Under her tenure, South Dakota’s program had an accuracy rate of more than 95 percent which earned the state millions in extra federal funding over a 16-year-period.
Osnes took her experience to more than two dozen other states.

So far the federal government has reached settlements with three of the states: Virginia, Wisconsin and Alaska, taking back more than $17 million.

When it comes to the settlement with Osnes, the Assistant Attorney General in the case says,” This settlement demonstrates the Department of Justice’s commitment to ensuring that taxpayer funds are properly spent so that the public can have confidence in the integrity of important programs like SNAP.”

Our calls to Julie Osnes for comment on this settlement with the federal government have not yet been returned.