Massachusetts auditor Suzanne Bump released an annual report on Tuesday based on her office's efforts in finding fraud in public benefits programs.
The report states that in the fiscal year 2016, the Bureau of Special Investigations discovered a record $15.4 million in public benefits fraud.
B.S.I examiners work with state, federal, and government agencies to document fraudulent activity.
Bump said that within the next year she plans to execute an audit to understand what the state can do for those who are eligible for assistance and have not yet received any.
“It is essential that these programs operate with integrity.That means fighting abuse and fraud, but it also requires that we work to identify the barriers that prohibit Massachusetts residents from accessing benefits for which they are eligible," said Bump.
The B.S.I. indicated that for every dollar that was invested, it found $7.06 in fraud.
Bump said although the report states there is an increase in the amount of fraud every year, this is not an indication of more fraud, it means they are getting better at identifying it.
The report released one case where a resident from Rhode Island claimed to live in Massachusetts and improperly reported their earned income.
The individual was charged with fraudulently receiving benefits in excess to $60,000 from the state of Massachusetts from 2012 to 2015.
Since the report was released, Bump and her team are looking to focus on continuing to track down fraud, increase the use of data analytics, and conduct the upcoming audit for next year.
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