THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Auditor says 160 people got $1m fraudulently

By Martin Finucane
Globe Staff / August 20, 2011

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The state auditor’s office says it found more than 160 people in the last quarter of the fiscal year who tried to cheat the state out of more than $1 million in public assistance funds.

The office’s Bureau of Special Investigations completed investigations of 1,274 people, finding that 163 had tried to defraud the state of welfare, food stamps, child care services, health care benefits, public housing, or cash assistance.

“Every dollar that’s paid out in a fraudulent claim means one less dollar for those who are struggling to make ends meet,’’ State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump said in a statement.

For the entire fiscal year, 3,145 investigations were completed, and 454 public assistance cheats were found, with $4.3 million in fraudulent claims uncovered, said Christopher Thompson, an auditor’s spokesman.

Martin Finucane can be reached at mfinucane@globe.com.