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MA Loses Millions to Public Assistance Fraud


State auditor Suzanne Bump says Massachusetts has lost more than $5.5 million to fraud in public assistance during the financial year that ended in June. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…

Bump's office documented the losses in a final report of the 2012 fiscal year that was released Wednesday.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, accounted for most of the fraud, at nearly $1.7 million.

The report comes shortly after the state passed a law that would enact stricter penalties for food stamp trafficking and restrict cash assistance purchases.

Bump's Bureau of Special Investigations found evidence of more than $2 million in falsely obtained public assistance benefits and services. The office investigated more than 2,000 instances of fraud between April and the end of June.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.