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Criminal Penalties for Cash Assistance Fraud

SECTION 11.   **Section was returned for amendment (Attachment C)



Said chapter 18 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 5H the following 2 sections:-



Section 5I. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, eligible recipients of direct cash assistance shall not use direct cash assistance funds held on electronic benefit transfer cards for the purchase of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products. An individual or store owner who knowingly accepts electronic benefit transfer cards in violation of this section shall be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 2 and one-half years or by a fine of not less than $1,000, or both such fine and imprisonment.



Section 5J. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, whoever embezzles, willfully misapplies, steals or obtains by fraud any funds, assets or property provided by the department of transitional assistance and whoever receives, conceals or retains such funds, assets or property for his own interest knowing such funds, assets or property have been embezzled, willfully misapplied, stolen or obtained by fraud shall, if such funds, assets or property are of a value of $100 or more, be punished by a fine of not more than $25,000 or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years, or imprisonment in state prison for not more than 5 years, or both such fine and imprisonment, or if such funds, assets or property are of a value of less than $100, by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 1 year, or both such fine and imprisonment.