PENNSYLVANIA (WTAJ) — The Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) has filed charges against 50 people who allegedly frauded the Commonwealth of over $500,000.
The 50 individuals are facing felony public assistance fraud charges. In total, the OSIG estimates that the restitution would be $584,874. Additional cost savings will be realized as the defendants will be temporarily disqualified from receiving public benefits in the programs they allegedly defrauded.
The individuals allegedly misrepresented their household circumstances and fraudulently received taxpayer-funded public benefits to which they were not entitled, according to the (OSIG). 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.
“The agents of the Office of State Inspector General relentlessly pursue integrity in Pennsylvania’s public benefits system,” State Inspector General Lucas M. Miller said. “Program integrity is key to preserving these programs within the Commonwealth, and it helps to ensure that funding is available for those who need it.”
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).