Mass. reports record welfare fraud

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Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump has released the annual report for her office’s Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI), which identified a record $13.7 million in public assistance benefits fraud in fiscal year 2015.

The $13.7 million represents a 44 percent increase over the previous year’s record of $9.5 million and is the fifth straight year of record-setting findings, according to the report.

“At a time when government and families are tightening their belts, our work to investigate fraud strengthens the fabric of our social safety net, ensuring these programs are available for the most vulnerable individuals and families in the Commonwealth,” said Bump in a press release.

BSI examiners investigated cases that included individuals or groups defrauding the state of public assistance benefits like: food stamps (SNAP), childcare services, health care benefits, and cash assistance.

“The return on investment of BSI has roughly doubled since 2012,” said Bump. “In the last fiscal year, for every dollar invested in BSI, $6.17 in fraud was identified.”

According to the report, the majority of the fraud identified was in the MassHealth ($7,723,962.14) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) ($4,596,488.11).

For the complete report click here.

— Written by Eric Scheiner