Bureau of Special Investigations 1st Quarter Report--Fiscal Year 2020

In the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2020 the Bureau of Special Investigations identified over $1.3 million in public benefit fraud.

Table of Contents

About the Bureau of Special Investigations

As a part of the Office of the State Auditor, the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) is charged with investigating allegations of public assistance fraud throughout the Commonwealth. The work of BSI fraud examiners ensures taxpayer dollars used to fund Massachusetts’ public benefits programs are managed effectively so that programs are available to residents who truly need them.

Under state law, BSI’s investigative authority extends to any assistance program administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), the Department of Children and Families (DCF),  and the Division of Medical Assistance, which administers MassHealth (the state’s Medicaid program). Although the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) is not included in the BSI statute, BSI also works with EEC through a Memorandum of Understanding. As a result of BSI’s investigations, public assistance fraud cases are referred to agencies for administrative action, fraudulent overpayments are recovered through civil agreements, individuals are disqualified from programs for specified periods of time, and cases are prosecuted in state and federal courts.

Working under Section 17 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, BSI fraud examiners operate from five offices across the Commonwealth. BSI consists of three separate investigative units: Central Processing, MassHealth/DTA, and Data Analytics. While each unit has its own specific concentration, there is extensive cross-unit collaboration, and investigations often involve overlap. BSI also participates in joint investigations and task forces with other state and federal agencies that focus on combating fraudulent activities throughout the Commonwealth.

During Quarter 1 of fiscal year 2020, BSI1 investigated a total of 1,182 cases. Of these, 125 were completed with fraud identified. Further detail regarding these 125 cases may be found below.

Summary of Investigations Completed with Fraud Identified

Assistance type


% of total*

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)






Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC)



Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children (EAEDC)



Early Education and Childcare (EEC)



Supplemental Security Income (SSI)







*Percentages do not total 100 due to rounding.


Summary of Restitution Settlements (Civil Recoveries)



Additional Resources



Main Phone Line (617) 727-8638
Report Public Benefit Fraud (617) 727-6771


Fax (617) 727-2567


Bureau of Special Investigations
One Ashburton Place
Room 1103
Boston, MA 02108

  1. Please note that BSI does not collect settlement payments of any kind; the individual benefit programs are responsible for collection activities related to BSI cases settled through civil recoupment or criminal prosecution. As such, BSI is unable to report on monthly collections or circumstances that produce shortfalls in collections.

Date published: December 17, 2019