BOSTON (WWLP) – A new report from the auditor looked at fraud in the Commonwealth.

In this past fiscal year, the state saw a significant increase in fraud when looking at public assistance programs. In the auditor’s latest report, the Bureau of Special Investigations found more than $13.5 million worth of fraud in the fiscal year that ended on June 30th. This is almost double the amount in FY21, which was around $6.1 million.

The auditor’s office is attributing the large difference to an “increase in pre-pandemic levels of cases referred by the public benefit agencies for investigation” and also cases coming from its data analytic unit.

The Central Processing unit within the Bureau of Special Investigations, or BSI, reviewed over 3,600 referrals. In a statement shared with 22News, Auditor Suzanne Bump said, “This annual report is an example of the impact BSI’s work has across the Commonwealth. I am proud of the unit for their continuous efforts to improve processes, better serve residents and increase accountability and transparency.”

Over $4.8 million worth of fraud came from MassHealth, over $5 million came from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP benefits and over $1.6 million was in relation to childcare benefits. Of the 668 cases that identified fraud, the average amount of fraud was over $20,000.

When looking at the public benefits program, fraud related to SNAP benefits made up 37% of all fraud dollars identified.

This report is the last annual fraud report from the office of Suzanne Bump, as she is not seeking re-election.