El Dorado County is cracking down on welfare fraud. Working together to identify and prosecute fraud, the Health and Human Services Agency and District Attorney’s Office last year handled more than 200 cases and recovered more than $430,000.
“We take fraud seriously,” Patty Moley, program manager of income maintenance and employment services for HHSA, said in a news release.
“Our job is to make sure that people who need and qualify for benefits receive them. But it is also our responsibility to look for false information and potential fraud situations.”
Suspected fraud is referred to the District Attorney’s Office for investigation.
Welfare fraud can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. People convicted of the charge are required to pay back money that was fraudulently obtained. They also are prevented from receiving benefits for anywhere from six months to the rest of their life, depending on the severity of the case.
“Our community has aid, assistance and funds to help people in need, but for those who intentionally steal, abuse or fraudulently obtain public funds, they will face prosecution,” District Attorney Vern Pierson said.
Suspected welfare fraud can be reported by call the Program Integrity Unit of HHSA at 530-642-7300.