Cops, Courts and Fire Government

PA Inspector General To Recoup $3.3 Million From Fraudsters In Bucks County & Beyond

Some of the cases were in Bucks County.

File photo.

The Pennsylvania Office of State Inspector General announced it filed charges against 590 individuals for public assistance fraud throughout the 2023 calendar year.

The agency announced the statistic on Tuesday as part of its efforts to combat welfare fraud and protect taxpayer funds.

The office filed felony charges against 566 individuals and misdemeanor charges against an additional 24.

Convicted individuals face severe penalties, including up to seven years in prison and fines up to $15,000.

The charges, which span across the state including Bucks County, were brought after probes into SNAP, Cash Assistance, or Subsidized Day Care fraud by special agents and investigators from Office of State Inspector General.

The accused individuals are now facing restitution claims totaling $3,378,770, money that officials say was wrongfully obtained from state-administered public benefits programs.

In addition to the financial restitution, those charged will also face temporary disqualification from receiving public benefits in the programs they are accused of defrauding. The measure is designed to prevent further misuse of funds and ensure that public assistance is available for those who genuinely need it, officials said.

Office of State Inspector General works with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, which administers the state’s public assistance programs, to investigate potential fraud.

Referrals for investigation can come from various sources, including discrepancies noted during the application process, suspicious benefit usage reported by officials, or tips provided by the public through the Office of State Inspector General website or the Welfare Fraud Tip line.

“In 2023, OSIG took decisive action, filing charges against nearly 600 individuals engaged in public assistance fraud and saving the Commonwealth millions of dollars,” said State Inspector General Lucas M. Miller.

People can anonymously report suspected welfare fraud on the agency website or call the Welfare Fraud Tipline at 1-800-932-0582.

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