BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A new report from the Office of the State Auditor has found that public assistance fraud more than doubled between FY21 ($6,139,720.51) and FY22 ($13,519,349.55) in Massachusetts.

State Auditor Suzanne Bump released the department’s Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) findings for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2022. The increase in fraud is due to reporting by public benefits agencies for investigation and the department’s data analytics unit. 

“BSI has been transformed. Its data analytics unit now proactively identifies patterns of fraud, enabling the unit to do more than react to benefits agencies’ referrals. BSI’s collaborations with state and federal agencies are yielding better results and are enabling our fraud examiners to work on high-profile, high dollar cases,” said Auditor Bump. “The fraud examiners themselves are better trained in their work and in courtroom presentations, and have genuine career paths. The case management system Director Gina Cash has newly implemented is already showing its value. I heartily congratulate her on her leadership.”

The report includes tables and figures that breaks down fraud BSI identified and the referral source, such as:   
              

Courtesy Office of the State Auditor

Other information found in the report includes:

  • The Central Processing Unit (CPU) received 5,191 new referrals for investigation in fiscal year 2022 (FY22) and processed, analyzed, and reviewed 3,636 referrals.
  • The Super Fraud Unit (SFU) completed 688 investigations in FY22, which contributed to identifying fraud totaling $9,047,145.31 in 544 cases.
  • The Data Analytics Unit (DAU) generated 387 referrals to CPU, the majority of which alleged that personal care attendants (PCAs) failed to accurately disclose their income to the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) and MassHealth agencies as required while receiving public assistance benefits.
  • 120% increase in the total amount of identified fraud; and
  • 61% increase in new referrals received

Read the full BSI report here. The public can report potential fraud to BSI using this link.