Notable BSI Activity in the Second Quarter of Fiscal Year 2018

In this quarter BSI secured an indictment against a Medford woman and two Springfield women for fraud.

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Medford Woman Indicted for Social Security, Medicare, MassHealth, and Food Stamp Fraud

On November 2, 2017, a Medford woman was arrested and charged in US District Court for the District of Massachusetts with three counts of theft of public funds, two counts of making false statements, and one count of falsely representing a Social Security number.

Based on the Bureau of Special Investigation’s (BSI) investigative efforts and collaboration with the federal Public Assistance Task Force, a federal grand jury indicted the defendant for allegedly stealing $73,288 in Social Security benefits, $8,455 in Medicare benefits, $8,615 in MassHealth benefits, and $17,929 in Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (food stamp) benefits from October 2007 through May 2017.

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2 Springfield Women Indicted in Connection with Defrauding State Agencies, Stealing from Shelter

On October 4, 2017, two Springfield women were arraigned in Hampden County Superior Court in Springfield for allegedly stealing more than $14,000 through various larceny schemes, including defrauding state agencies of benefits and stealing from a local women’s shelter. The charges filed against the two defendants include larceny over $250, conspiracy to commit larceny, forgery, and failure to disclose any material fact affecting eligibility or level of benefits.

BSI’s investigation, arising out of a 2015 referral from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), alleged that one defendant, who worked as an advocate at a local women’s shelter, stole more than $4,000 in donated gift cards intended for shelter participants between 2013 and 2015. She allegedly used the gift cards to purchase furniture for herself and family members.

In addition, the defendant allegedly defrauded MassHealth out of more than $7,000 in benefits by failing to inform MassHealth about changes to her eligibility status, including the availability of employer-sponsored health insurance.

Furthermore, the charging documents asserted that the defendants defrauded the Commonwealth of more than $3,000 in benefits by conspiring to apply for benefits from DHCD’s Residential Assistance for Families in Transition Program, which provides short-term financial assistance to low-income families; using the identities of shelter participants; creating a fake property management company; and forging housing court documents.

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BSI Staff Training

BSI’s Director gave a presentation on evidence to staff members. The presentation covered a wide array of topics including admissibility, relevance, the rules of evidence, and subsequent exceptions to those rules. In addition, the training covered the role evidence plays as it relates to BSI’s efforts to prosecute criminal cases and the government’s burden of providing evidence to prove each element of an alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

The presentation was part of an ongoing series to promote staff education, development, and training. Moreover, these presentations equip BSI’s staff with the tools and information to work smarter and more efficiently in safeguarding the Commonwealth’s public assistance benefit programs.

Date published: July 5, 2018

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