WBZ Channel 4: Mass. Lottery Winners Accused Of Welfare Fraud
May 31, 2012 - The following content was originally published by Channel 4 WBZ Boston
Public benefits like housing, healthcare and food stamps are supposed to be for people who really need them, not people making hundreds of thousands of dollars. But over the past year, investigators from the State Auditors’ office have found just that. Investigators say at least two big time lottery winners are bilking the state out of thousands in public benefits.
Two Charged in Failure to Disclose Massive Lottery Winnings to MassHealth
May 31, 2012
After investigations completed by the Office of the State Auditor, two men face charges of each fraudulently collecting over $12,000 in MassHealth benefits in a multiyear period by not reporting the hundreds of thousands of dollars earned through lottery winnings.
“These two individuals are exploiting the public and taking precious resources away from those most in need,” said State Auditor Suzanne Bump.
From March 2009 to December 2011, James Casey, 42 of Belmont, earned $709,417 in lottery winnings while collecting $12,157 in MassHealth benefits and $1,553 in Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Casey faces charges of larceny over $250 and false representations to produce welfare. Today, Judge Raymond G. Dougan set Casey to be arraigned on June 5.
From January 2008 to December 2011, Frank Basile, 59 of Waltham, earned $316,164 in lottery winnings while collecting $16,654 in MassHealth benefits. Today Basile was charged with larceny over $250 and false representations to produce welfare. Judge Dougan released Basile on his own personal recognizance and set a pre-trial hearing for August 24.
Statement from Auditor Bump on Senate Ways and Means' Proposed FY2013 Budget
May 16, 2012
"I applaud Senate President Therese Murray and Senate Ways and Means Chairman Stephen Brewer for including in their FY 2013 budget an outside section that would criminalize food stamp trafficking in the Commonwealth. It will give our Bureau of Special Investigations and others in law enforcement a new tool to directly address some of the most egregious examples of welfare fraud – those in which food stamp benefits intended to provide nourishment to needy families, particularly children, are sold in order to use the proceeds for other purposes.
Massachusetts’ lack of criminal penalties for food stamp trafficking has hindered our effective tracking and prosecution of this activity, which seems to be growing within the state. Nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General, the illegal buying or selling of food stamps has resulted in 597 convictions and $197 million in fines, restitution and forfeiture orders over the past three years. The new legislation makes it easier for state and local authorities to more effectively monitor, investigate, and prosecute violators and provide for penalties for this type of crime. Additionally, I am pleased to see the further guidance on the use of Electronic Benefit Transfer Cards, which will work to ensure that all public benefits go to those most deserving. I commend Senate President Murray and Chairman Brewer for their proactive leadership on these important issues."
Auditor Bump Speaks to Greater Lowell Area Chamber
May 15, 2012
Auditor Bump was the keynote speaker at the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce’s annual legislative breakfast. To the crowd of business leaders, Auditor Bump talked about policy changes that have resulted because her audits of their local Merrimack Education Collaborative and other collaboratives in the state.