For Immediate Release - December 14, 2011

Lowell Woman Arraigned for Defrauding Welfare Programs $15,400

Auditor Bump’s Bureau of Special Investigations leads to arraignment

BOSTON, MA - A Lowell woman was arraigned today at Boston Municipal Court on charges that she fraudulently collected $15,400 in food assistance from the Supplemental Nutritional Program (SNAP) and Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC), Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump announced today.

Geri Boyles was charged with larceny over $250 and false representations to produce welfare (three counts). Judge Shannon Frison released Boyles on her own personal recognizance and the case was continued until March 5 for a pre-trial hearing.

The charges are a result of an investigation by Auditor Bump’s Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI), which acted on a referral from the Commonwealth’s Department of Transitional Assistance.

In September of 2004 Boyles originally applied to receive SNAP and TAFDC while she was pregnant with her first child, and was approved by DTA. In August of 2006 the Commonwealth’s Department of Children and Family (DCF) removed Boyles’s child from her custody. When reapplying for welfare benefits, Boyles submitted falsified information to DTA, withholding the fact she lost custody of her child.

On January 6th, 2009 Boyles reported the birth of her second child and her monthly SNAP benefits were increased by DTA. On January 9th, 2009 DCF removed Boyles‘s second child from her custody.

In April of 2009, upon discovering no child living in Boyles’s home, DTA ended her benefits. In response to this action, BSI Investigators found that Boyles forged a letter from her first child’s father which falsely confirmed he had given custody of the child to Boyles. Because of her fraudulent letter, Boyles began to receive SNAP benefits again.

The information Boyles failed to provide in each instance would have greatly decreased her SNAP benefits and made her completely ineligible for TAFDC benefits. According to BSI’s investigation, Boyle’s fraudulent activity continued to August 9, 2009.

BSI is charged with the responsibility of investigating fraud within the Commonwealth's public assistance programs, principally those administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance, the Department of Medical Assistance and the Department of Social Services.

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 Audit Report: Lowell Woman Arraigned for Defrauding Welfare Programs $15,400 pdf format of    Lowell Woman Defrauds Welfare Programs $15,400