HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ)– Numerous amounts of people have been charged with public assistance fraud in Pennsylvania, according to the Office of State Inspector General (OSIG).
A total of 55 Pennsylvanians has been charged by the OSIG and they owe $291,826 in restitution, according to a news release. That amount will be even higher since they are now banned from receiving public health benefits.
“Ensuring the appropriate distribution of public assistance in Pennsylvania is a crucial responsibility we owe to the people of our Commonwealth, and it is vital to uphold the credibility of these initiatives,” State Inspector General Lucas M. Miller said. “OSIG’s agents have worked tirelessly to safeguard the public’s trust, and I commend them for their work.”
In April the OSIG filed felony charges of fraudulently receiving public assistance against 47 of those charged, while eight of them face misdemeanor charges. These individuals allegedly misrepresented themselves and fraudulently received taxpayer-funded public benefits that they were not entitled to, the release reads.
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If convicted, individuals face up to seven years in prison and a maximum 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.