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State Inspector General Charges 48 with Public Assistance Fraud in October 2023


Harrisburg, PA - The Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) filed public assistance fraud charges against 48 individuals during October 2023. The restitution owed to the Commonwealth in these cases totals $214,029. Additional cost savings will be realized as the defendants will be temporarily disqualified from receiving public benefits in the programs they allegedly defrauded.

"Those who defraud the public assistance system are stealing from the most vulnerable among us," said State Inspector General Lucas M. Miller. "They are taking resources away from those who truly need them and are undermining the integrity of vital programs. We will continue to work tirelessly to investigate and prosecute these cases, and we will hold those responsible accountable for their actions."

OSIG investigates and prosecutes public assistance fraud and conducts collection activities for the public benefits programs administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS).

During October 2023, OSIG filed felony criminal charges against 45 individuals for fraudulently receiving public assistance. Three additional individuals were charged with misdemeanor crimes. It is alleged that these individuals misrepresented their household circumstances and fraudulently received taxpayer-funded public benefits to which they were not entitled.

If convicted, the maximum penalty defendants face for public assistance fraud is seven years in prison and a fine of $15,000. In the case of SNAP, Cash Assistance, or Subsidized Day Care fraud, defendants also face a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program they allegedly defrauded.

All persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

OSIG works in close coordination with DHS, which administers Pennsylvania’s public assistance programs, to investigate referrals made by DHS for potential fraud or abuse of programs. Referrals come through concerns flagged through applications and questionable use of benefits observed by DHS or from tips made by the public. Anonymously report suspected welfare fraud on the OSIG website or call the Welfare Fraud Tipline: 1-800-932-0582.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jonathan P. Hendrickson - 717-265-8396

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