Resolving Your Public Assistance Fraud Charges in Massachusetts
Massachusetts offers economic assistance to individuals, families, the elderly and the disabled in the form of cash benefits through the (DTA) Department of Transitional Assistance (also referred to as the Department of Public Welfare). Whether you qualified as a U.S citizen or noncitizen with legal status you there are three economic or welfare assistance programs in Massachusetts: Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC), Emergency Aid to the Elderly (EAEDC), and the State Supplement Program (SSP). Also, the DTA administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, in connection with the aforementioned programs which provides the recipient with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to purchase food/nutritional benefits. All of these programs are intended to help people in a time of need so that they can bridge the gap during periods of difficult financial times.
Sometimes, these programs are abused by the recipients of this economic aid and when this happens, a Fraud Examiner from the Office of the State Auditor in the Bureau of Special Investigations will scrutinize every aspect of the recipient’s application, including but not limited to verification of actual income of household members and a determination of any individual actually living in the recipient household not included on an application. If, for example, the salary or income of recipient household members is false or misleading or if someone else is living in the home and this crucial information has not been included on the public assistance application, then an intentional program violation may be pursued aggressively against the recipient and/or anyone else that conspires with them to defraud the Massachusetts (DTA) office.What to Expect if You Have Been Accused of Welfare Fraud in Massachusetts
If there is an allegation of an intentional program violation you will receive a notification from the Massachusetts State Auditor’s Office you are being investigated with respect to the information that you provided to the DTA to get your benefits. If you received such a letter you should contact an experienced Massachusetts Public Assistance Fraud Attorney right away in order to determine if an actual violation occurred and/or to negotiate a resolution of an alleged program violation before serious criminal charges are lodged against you. If you neglect to respond to the DTA violation letter, the Bureau of Special Investigations, which has their own lawyers will aggressively pursue the criminal charges in court against you which may involve both felony and misdemeanor charges such as Larceny Over $1,250 By a Single Scheme (G.L. Ch. 266, s. 30(1)) and Public Assistance Fraud (G.L. c. 18, s. 5B) that can be pursued in either a District or Superior Court.
The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy has years of important resolution experience when it comes to charges involving Public Assistance Fraud and Welfare Fraud in Massachusetts for both citizens and noncitizen recipients who can be especially vulnerable in this situation. Attorney Murphy has worked closely with DTA personnel and DTA Attorneys to resolve program violations and to draft repayment agreements to suit your income in order to avoid criminal charges and going to court to facing a judge. If you received a fraud letter from a Fraud Examiner in the Office of the State Auditor in Massachusetts or someone from their Bureau of Special Investigations has reached out to you, contact Attorney Murphy right away in order to have the best possible outcome when you have been accused of an intentional program violation involving SNAP benefits, the State Supplement Program, TAFDC, or EAEDC benefits in Massachusetts.
Even if you have not been able to contact a lawyer before being summonsed to court it is not too late and if may still be possible to avoid a conviction on criminal charges. Attorney Murphy will sit down with you and fully explain all of the legal options and potential outcomes if your case has proceeded to court.