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Press Release Bureau of Special Investigations Identifies Over $8 Million in Public Benefit Fraud in FY20

The report highlights notable activity surrounding BSI’s cases during the past fiscal year.
For immediate release:
2/18/2021
  • Office of the State Auditor
  • Bureau of Special Investigations

Media Contact for Bureau of Special Investigations Identifies Over $8 Million in Public Benefit Fraud in FY20

Noah Futterman

An image of a map that shows fraud by county in FY20.

BostonState Auditor Suzanne M. Bump today released the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) annual report for her office’s Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI), which investigates allegations of public benefit fraud. The report notes that BSI identified $8,164,438.85 in public assistance fraud during the past year.

In FY20, BSI closed 490 cases with identified fraud. The report provides a series of maps that show the total number of fraud instances the Bureau identified in each county. With 241 cases, Hampden is the county in which Bump’s office identified the most cases of fraud in FY20.

“In Massachusetts, we recognize the value of a strong social safety net to help people put food on the table, access medical care, and more. While fraud makes up a small portion of total public assistance spending, it has a disproportionate negative impact on public trust in these programs,” Bump said. “At a time when more people are relying on this assistance because of economic hardships, my office remains committed to ensuring these programs are run with integrity and fraud is quickly identified and stopped.”

The report highlights notable activity surrounding BSI’s cases during the year including:

  • Multiple indictments in US District Court for theft of government benefits;
  • The guilty verdict for a Lowell woman who defrauded the Department of Early Education and Care; and
  • The sentencing of a North Attleboro woman for larceny and public assistance fraud.

The Office of the State Auditor’s Bureau of Special Investigations investigates allegations of public assistance fraud throughout the Commonwealth. Its work ensures taxpayer dollars are used effectively and that benefits are available to residents who truly need and qualify for them. BSI investigates programs administered by DTA, and the Division of Medical Assistance (which administers MassHealth). In addition, BSI has an agreement with the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) to investigate fraud in that program as well. BSI receives referrals for investigation from its agency partners, public tips, referrals from federal agencies, and through the use of its data analytics tools. The public can report potential fraud to BSI at: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/report-public-benefit-fraud-to-the-office-of-the-state-auditor

The BSI Annual Report for FY20 is available here.

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Media Contact for Bureau of Special Investigations Identifies Over $8 Million in Public Benefit Fraud in FY20

Office of the State Auditor 

The Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump (OSA) conducts audits, investigations, and studies to promote accountability and transparency, improve performance, and make government work better.

Bureau of Special Investigations 

The Bureau of Special Investigations strengthens the social safety net in Massachusetts by investigating potential fraud in the state’s public benefit programs.
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