For Immediate Release - February 02, 2012

Boston Man Used Two Identities to Defraud Welfare Programs $21,320

BOSTON, MA  - A Boston man was arraigned today at Boston Municipal Court on charges that he fraudulently collected $21,320 in food and cash assistance from the Supplemental Nutritional Program (SNAP) and Emergency Assistance for Elderly and Disabled Children (EAEDC), Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump announced today.

Thomas Cater, 47, was charged with larceny over $250 and false representations to produce welfare (five counts). Judge Thomas C. Horgan held Cater on $5,000 bail and the case was continued to February 29 for a pre-trial hearing.

Cater used the name “Thomas Miller” in order to collect two sets of SNAP and EAEDC benefits. When applying for benefits, Cater used two separate Social Security Numbers and listed two separate public housing residences. Under his true identity, Cater is registered as a tenant with the Boston Housing Authority, and under his Miller alias, Cater is also registered as a tenant with Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership.

Cater continued his scheme by making false representations on five DTA eligibility review forms between June 29, 2005 and July 28, 2011.

The charges are a result of an investigation by Auditor Bump’s Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI).

“This is an egregious example welfare fraud,” said Auditor Bump. “Through investigations like this, my office aims to make sure public benefits programs are run efficiently and effectively, and those who need public assistance are the ones who receive it.”

BSI acted on a referral from the Commonwealth’s Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).

“Mr. Cater’s arrest is proof that collaboration with BSI and other agencies is key to ensuring the integrity of public assistance programs,” said DTA Commissioner Daniel J. Curley. “Thankfully few people abuse the system, but those that do are being held accountable. We look forward to continuing to work with Auditor Bump and her team to investigate and prosecute fraudulent activity.”

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.