Athol Woman Arraigned for Defrauding Welfare Programs $58,170
January 13, 2012
An Athol woman was arraigned Wednesday at Boston Municipal Court on charges that she fraudulently collected $58,170 in food assistance from the Supplemental Nutritional Program (SNAP) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump announced today.
Kathleen Brower, 37, was charged with two counts of larceny over $250 and ten counts of false representations to produce welfare. Judge Annette Forde released Brower on her own personal recognizance and the case was continued until March 12, 2012 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 federal Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC). From July 3, 2006 through September 4, 2010 Brower had been selling, trading, and exchanging WIC issued infant formula on EBay earning over $10,000. BSI investigators uncovered that Brower had never reported this income to the Commonwealth’s Department of Transitional Assistance, from which she was receiving welfare benefits.
Upon further examination BSI investigators uncovered that Brower fraudulently applied for and received public assistance benefits from January 13, 2006 to August 11, 2010 by falsely claiming she was a single mother of four children with no income. BSI investigators uncovered that Brower failed to report that she was living with her children’s father Mark Brower, who was employed.
Auditor Bump, Inspector General Sullivan Jointly Commend Senate on Passage of Education Collaborative Reform Bill
January 10, 2012
Inspector General Greg Sullivan and State Auditor Suzanne Bump issued the following statement regarding the passage of An Act Relative to Improving Accountability and Oversight of Education Collaboratives by the Massachusetts Senate:
"Our investigation and audit of the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative, and audits of South Eastern Massachusetts Education Collaborative, and the READS Collaborative demonstrated a clear need to strengthen the oversight, accountability, and transparency of Commonwealths Education Collaborative system. We are greatly pleased that the work of our offices and our findings and recommendations have served as catalysts for bringing about these critically needed reforms.
We are particularly grateful for the leadership of Senate President Therese Murray and senators Sonia Chang-Diaz and Stephen Brewer in taking swift action to remedy the deficiencies we found within the collaborative system. And we are hopeful that this process not only ends fiscal abuse, but provides for the efficient and effective delivery of high quality programs to the students the education collaboratives serve."