The Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) filed public assistance fraud charges against 55 individuals during April 2023. The restitution owed to the Commonwealth in these cases totals $291,826. Additional cost savings will be realized as the defendants will be temporarily disqualified from receiving public benefits in the programs they allegedly defrauded.
“Ensuring the appropriate distribution of public assistance in Pennsylvania is a crucial responsibility we owe to the people of our Commonwealth, and it is vital to uphold the credibility of these initiatives,” said State Inspector General Lucas M. Miller. “OSIG’s agents have worked tirelessly to safeguard the public’s trust, and I commend them for their work.”
OSIG investigates and prosecutes public assistance fraud and conducts collection activities for the public benefits programs administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS).
During April 2023, OSIG filed felony charges of fraudulently receiving public assistance against a total of 47 individuals and misdemeanor charges against eight separate individuals. It is alleged that these individuals misrepresented themselves and fraudulently received taxpayer-funded public benefits to which they were not entitled.
If convicted, the maximum penalty defendants face for public assistance fraud is seven years in prison and a fine of $15,000. In the case of SNAP, Cash Assistance, or Subsidized Day Care fraud, defendants also face a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program they allegedly defrauded.