30 November 2023- The Office of State Inspector General in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 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.”
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.