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Auditor IDs $1M In Fraudulent Public Assistance Claims

The state auditor's office has identified 163 people it claims tried to cheat the state out of welfare, food stamps, child care services and other public assistance in recent months.

Auditor's office spokesman Christopher Thompson says the fraudulent claims from the spring quarter amount to more than $1 million.

"Every dollar that's paid out in fraudulent claims means one less dollar for those that are struggling to make ends meet," Thompson said.

Thompson says some of the people caught trying to cheat the state did so accidentally, but others, like one woman in West Springfield, were deliberate.

"Our investigation showed that she listed her deceased mother, her spouse, daughter and other identified persons as her so-called personal care giver, and then cashed their paychecks," he said.

The auditor's office has turned over its findings to law enforcement agencies for prosecution, and to recover the lost funds.

This program aired on August 19, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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