TITLE 23
Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-13
Maternal and Child Health Services for Children with Special Health Care Needs

SECTION 23-13-17


§ 23-13-17 Special supplemental food program for women, infants, and children (WIC).

(a) The director of health shall administer a program to be called the WIC program, to provide supplemental foods and nutrition education to pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and young children from families who meet financial eligibility standards established by the department and who are at special risk with respect to their physical and mental health by reason of inadequate nutrition, or health care, or both. The WIC program shall be administered in a manner consistent with applicable federal law, 42 U.S.C. § 1786, and the provision of this chapter.

(b) All applicants and participants who are eligible shall be entitled to participate in the WIC program.

(c) The cost of the program shall not exceed two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000).

(d) Every person, party, entity, partnership, corporation, or other business, governmental, or nonprofit entity which embezzles, willfully misapplies, steals, or obtains by fraud or deception any funds, assets or property provided under § 7 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. § 1776, or under this chapter, whether received directly or indirectly from the United States Department of Agriculture or the Rhode Island department of health, or receives, conceals, or retains those funds, assets, or property for his or her own interest, knowing those funds, assets, or property have been embezzled, willfully misapplied, stolen, or obtained by fraud or deception shall, if the amount of funds, assets, or property are of the value of five hundred dollars ($500) or more, be fined not more that ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or if the amount of funds, assets, or property are of a value of less than five hundred dollars ($500), shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). The amount of funds, assets, or property provided under the special supplemental food program for women, infants, and children misdirected in violation of this chapter shall be calculated as the aggregate from any and all incidents or acts prohibited by this chapter occurring in any consecutive twelve (12) month period.

(e) Every person, party, entity, partnership, corporation, or other business, governmental, or nonprofit entity which duplicates, causes to be duplicated, creates, manufactures, or causes to be created or manufactured any copy or facsimile of any article or method employed by the Rhode Island department of health to identify food vendors which redeem food instruments of the special supplemental food program for women, infants, and children (WIC program) without the express written authorization of the Rhode Island department of health or whoever obtains, steals, conceals or retains a WIC program vendor identifier knowing the identifier has been copied or created without department of health authorization or obtains or retains an identifier or copy or facsimile of it, without the express written authorization of the Rhode Island department of health, shall, if the WIC program vendor identifier is used in the acceptance, redemption, or deposit of WIC program food instruments, be fined not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or if the unauthorized vendor identifier is not shown to have been used in the acceptance, redemption, or deposit of WIC program food instruments, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(f) Every person, party, entity, firm, or corporation which misrepresents itself as, or in any other manner improperly, fraudulently or deceptively holds itself out to be, authorized by any unit of the federal, state, or local government or other entity to accept, redeem, or deposit WIC program food instruments, such as WIC checks, or which otherwise attempts or solicits to accept, redeem, or deposit WIC food instruments without the express authorization of the department in any manner shall, if the action is accompanied by the unauthorized acceptance, redemption, or deposit of WIC program food instruments, be fined not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or if those actions are not shown to have been accompanied by the acceptance, redemption, or deposit of WIC program food instruments, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(g) The possession of any funds, assets, property, vendor identifier, or WIC food instruments shall be evidence of guilty knowledge by the person having possession that the property was embezzled, willfully misapplied, stolen, or obtained by fraud or deception or created or received without authorization except the person shows that it was acquired in the due course of trade and for adequate consideration.

(h) Any penalty imposed under this chapter shall be in addition to immediate repayment of any claim made under the provisions of the Rhode Island state plan of operation and administration of the special supplemental food program for women, infants, and children for funds improperly obtained or received.

(i) Any fine imposed under this chapter does not preclude any other sanctions or penalties set forth in state or federal regulations, rules or the provisions of the Rhode Island state plan of operation and administration for the special supplemental food program or the provisions of the vendor participation agreement in force between the Rhode Island department of health and any WIC program vendor.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1987, ch. 382, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 156, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 86, § 69; P.L. 2008, ch. 475, § 42.)