Massachusetts has paid out $18 million in “questionable public assistance benefits” in recent years, including welfare to more than 1,160 people who were either dead or using a deceased person’s Social Security number, a state audit found.
The report estimated that recipients using a dead person’s Social Security number received at least $2.4 million between July 2010 and April 2012, The Boston Globe
The study covered food stamps, cash, and other benefits to low-income families.
And another $15 million was uncovered in suspicious transactions from electronic benefit cards during the two-and-a-half-year period the auditor reviewed.
Massachusetts spends about $1.7 billion a year on welfare programs, the Globe reports.
“It pains all of us in the auditor’s office to think that the programs’s integrity is not being maintained,” State Auditor Suzanne Bump told the Globe. “The most frustrating finding is that we were able to identify so many patterns of activity that could have raised suspicions, but did not.”
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