The Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) Fraud and Recovery Unit recently sent 2 cases of suspected fraud to the Mesa County District Attorney’s office, the combination totaling over $57,000.00. The suspected fraud occurred from November 14, 2012 to January 31, 2016. Welfare Fraud investigators uncovered enough evidence to allege the following:
Food Assistance: $31,861.00
Medicaid: $ 19,244.70
LEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program): $955.90
Investigation Costs: $ 3,787.28
Additionally, this case had several other assistance programs that were the victim of fraud and are associated with the investigation:
1. School Lunch fraud. The USDA Food and Nutrition Services/ National School Lunch Program is the victim on that portion with a total of $1412.50
The total recovery for the combination of the investigations is $57,170.60 (all victims)
Intentionally defrauding public assistance programs consists of falsely reporting information on an application including household composition, household resources or household income. Punishment includes: repayment of benefits issued and may result in a 1-year to lifetime ban from receiving public assistance benefits and/or criminal prosecution.
“Our Fraud and Recovery team takes investigating false information on public assistance applications very seriously.” said Tracey Garchar, Executive Director for the Mesa County Department of Human Services. “Ensuring benefits go to families who are truly eligible and in need is our utmost priority” added Garchar.
If you or someone you know suspects welfare fraud, please call the Mesa County Department of Human
Services Welfare Fraud Hotline at (970) 256-2421.