BOSTON (AP) _ State Auditor Suzanne Bump says her office has identified a record high of $13.7 million in public assistance benefits fraud during the 2015 fiscal year.

The Democrat says that amount represents a 44 percent increase over the previous year's record of $9.5 million. It's the fifth straight year of record-setting findings by her office.

Bump says her office identified fraud in about 10 percent of the nearly 11,000 investigations conducted during the 2015 fiscal year that ended June 30.

She says the cases included individuals or groups defrauding the state of public assistance benefits like food stamps, childcare services, health care benefits and cash assistance.

Bump says the increase doesn't necessarily mean a new rash of attempted fraud. She says it reflects heightened oversight by her office.

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