Unauthorized use of EBT cards, falsifying documents, lying about income, hidden trust funds and the act of “water dumping,” are just a few examples of the welfare fraud that DHHS has caught people committing in recent months.
In 2015, 130,413 EBT cards were issued and $311,664,909.00 was spent through EBT transactions this includes cash withdrawals. Prior to this administration, the state was not actively utilizing available EBT transaction data to find potential inappropriate usage or potential eligibility issues of clients. Now, DHHS is using state-of-the-art business analytics software to quickly find inappropriate usage including clients that may have moved out of state, potential drug trafficking activity and collusion with vendors to commit fraud.
Seventeen investigators spread out over 11 offices work tirelessly taking tips, investigating leads and tracking down millions of dollars in misused benefits.
On January 8th, the most recent case of welfare fraud ended with a conviction. Details can be viewed at http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/fraud-press-release.htm