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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Niagara County saved or recovered nearly $300,000 in welfare fraud cases in the first six months on the year, exceeding the savings and recovery for 13 of the last 14 years.

So far this year, 76 people have been disqualified from receiving future benefits for six months to three years. Most of the crimes committed involved people receiving benefits they were not entitled to because they were either gainfully employed, claiming children not living with them or failed to report income they were receiving from other sources.

The savings posted since January — $290,051.89 — are not the result of a single sting operation but rather the day-to-day operations by the Program Integrity Unit Staff, Sheriff's Office Investigators and the Assistant District Attorney assigned to investigate, prosecute and recover fraudulently received welfare funds.
This savings comes from both criminal prosecution, as well as Alternative to Prosecution Settlements completed by the Program Integrity staff.

Since January, the Program Integrity Unit has received and investigated over 640 potential fraud referrals; the Niagara County Sheriff's Investigators have conducted over 250 investigations and completed 49 arrests, while 50 alternative-to-prosecution settlements have been approved.

In addition, 51 criminal court cases were resolved since January 1.

Anyone with knowledge of potential welfare fraud is asked to call the Program Integrity Welfare Fraud hotline at 439-7788.

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  1. Fraud is fraud; once caught they should be banned for life. SMH.

  2. They should publish a list of the thieves names.


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