When someone tells you that welfare fraud amounts to just a small pittance of what the government wastes and that corporate welfare is where all the action is, remind them that fraud is fraud and that every penny counts.

Welfare programs are paid for by taxpayers who wish to provide a safety net for their fellow citizens who need a boost. To steal or cheat when someone is trying to help you is at the least unkind, not to mention illegal.

Massachusetts State Auditor Diana DiZoglio's office has uncovered in excess of $5 million in public assistance fraud since January 2023. DiZoglio's Bureau of Special Investigations identified fraud in 14 percent of the cases it examined between January and March.

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The fraud, totaling more than $4 million, included $1.6 million in Medicaid fraud and $1.3 million in fraud connected to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

According to the State House News Service, "The bureau identified fraud in 200 of the 1,407 cases it investigated."

DiZoglio says her office uncovered more than $1 million worth of public benefits fraud from April through June, with the majority linked to cases involving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Massachusetts Uncovers Millions In Welfare Fraud Since January
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

State House News Service says the bureau "detected fraud in 89 cases out of 1,552 cases it looked into during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023."

Investigators found "$843,705 in SNAP fraud; $101,905 in fraud tied to the Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children program; $46,049 in fraud connected to the Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children program; and $22,996 in Supplemental Security Income fraud."

Public assistance fraud cases are "referred to agencies for administrative action, fraudulent overpayments are recovered through civil agreements, individuals are disqualified from programs for specified periods of time, and cases are prosecuted in state and federal courts," according to DiZoglio's report to the Legislature.

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