Two Personal Care Attendants Charged with Fraudulently Billing the State for Services after their Patients’ Death
June 21, 2012
Two individuals were arraigned Wednesday at Boston Municipal Court on charges that they each fraudulently collected over thousands of dollars in MassHealth payments by falsifying documents that claimed they were providing health services to MassHealth customers who were deceased.
Marina Morrison, 22, of Chelsea, fraudulently collected $11,781 in MassHealth payments by falsifying documents that she was performing services as a personal care attendant (PCA) for her patient for two months, including one month after the patient’s death. Morrison also continued to collect her patient’s Social Security payments for three months after his death, totaling $1,561.
Wednesday, Morrison was charged with two counts of larceny over $250 and false representations to procure money. Judge Annette Forde released Morrison without bail, and the case was continued until September 11 for a pre-trial hearing.
Auditor Bump Meets with seven members of British Parliament
State Auditor Suzanne Bump met with of seven members of British Parliament to discuss oversight of public expenditures. The cross party delegation of MPs all serve on the Public Accounts Committee in the United Kingdom.
The following is the list of the visiting members: Margaret Hodge, Richard Bacon, Fiona Mactaggart, Meg Hillier, Stewart Jackson, Austin Mitchell and Nick Smith.
Financial Mismanagement Uncovered in Audit of the Easton Housing Authority
June 14, 2012
An audit of the Easton Housing Authority issued today by State Auditor Suzanne Bump revealed numerous poor financial management practices.
“When taken together, the many faults we uncovered at the Easton Housing Authority call into question the previous administration’s ability to properly manage resources to benefit the lives of the residents they serve,” said Auditor Bump. “The current administration of the Authority has been cooperative with our audit process and is using our findings to improve its operations.”
Areas of criticism included board oversight, credit card use, expense reimbursement, tenant selection, vacancy turnover and more.
Springfield Republican: Auditor Suzanne Bump finds nearly $2 million in fraudulently obtained state benefits
June 12, 2012 - The following content was originally published by the Springfield Republican
The state auditor's office found evidence of $1.8 million in fraudulently obtained public assistance and benefits services during the first three months of this year, including a man who used two identities to cheat welfare.
Auditor Suzanne M. Bump of Great Barrington said examiners in her Bureau of Special Investigations completed 963 investigations, identifying 401 people defrauding the state out of welfare, food stamps, childcare services, health care benefits, public housing or cash assistance.
“In today’s economic climate, with so many struggling to get by, it is more important than ever to make sure every dollar given in benefits goes to those who are actually in need,” Bump said in a statement.
Quarterly Report: Over $1.8 Million Identified In Public Assistance Fraud
June 11, 2012
In a quarterly progress report issued today, State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump said examiners with the office’s Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) found evidence of $1,827,217 in fraudulently obtained public assistance benefits and services.
Auditor Bump said BSI examiners completed 963 investigations, identifying 401 people defrauding the state out of welfare, food stamps, childcare services, health care benefits, public housing or cash assistance.
“In today’s economic climate, with so many struggling to get by, it is more important than ever to make sure every dollar given in benefits goes to those who are actually in need,” said Auditor Bump. “BSI oversight identifies millions of dollars in fraud every year.”
Within the current fiscal year BSI received 1,824 complaints of suspected fraud and found $2,736,058 in fraudulent claims.
Lowell Sun: Plan gives state control of costly program for busing of homeless students
June 11, 2012 - The following content was originally published by the Lowell Sun
Massachusetts school districts may soon be spared the expense of busing thousands of homeless students to class. But a plan for the state to take over the $11.3 million bill means state taxpayers -- rather than individual communities -- would pay the rising costs of the federally mandated program.
"To make the program work, the state must step in," said state Rep. Tom Sannicandro, D-Ashland, co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, whose school district saw costs for the busing program rise 30 percent from fiscal 2011 to 2012.
The federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act requires communities to enroll homeless students from preschool to grade 12 and provide the transportation necessary to get them to school.
Students have the option of attending a school close to their new location or remain in their last school.
According to J.C. Considine, spokesperson for the Department of Elementary and Secondary School Education, there were 14,247 homeless students enrolled in 278 school districts across the state during the 2010-2011 school year.
A study conducted by the state auditor's office found the majority of homeless school-aged children live in Waltham, Danvers, Holyoke, Chicopee, Brighton and Brockton.