HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Dozens of Pennsylvanians were charged in March for public assistance fraud in the Commonwealth, The Office of State Inspector General announced.

The Office charged 61 individuals with fraud leading to restitution of $250,965. More savings for the state will happen as all 61 have been temporarily banned from receiving public benefits.

“The proper allocation of public aid in Pennsylvania is a fundamental obligation we have to Commonwealth residents, and it is essential to maintain the integrity of these programs,” said State Inspector General Lucas M. Miller. “I applaud the relentless efforts of OSIG’s agents in maintaining the public’s confidence.”

During March 2023, The Office filed felony charges of fraudulently receiving public assistance against a total of 60 individuals and misdemeanor charges against one separate individual. It is alleged that these individuals misrepresented themselves and fraudulently received taxpayer-funded public benefits they weren’t entitled to.

If convicted, the maximum penalty defendants face for public assistance fraud is seven years in prison and a fine of $15,000.

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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.