Welfare fraud crackdown saves Broome County $11 million

By Kelly McCarthy

May 6, 2014 Updated May 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Broome County Executive Debbie Preston said more than $11 million in welfare fraud has been uncovered by the county during the past year.

The county's security division reviewed more than 10,000 individual cases in 2013 and took action. The county could either deny cases, withdraw applications, or reduce benefits.

"It's really like an audit of that application," said Broome County Director of Security Jim Dadamio, "The person would declare what resources they have, what income they have and then through our investigative techniques which is the use of databases, interviews, document requests, home visits. We're going to go and we're going to verify those assets and resources."

Some cases were taken a step further and resulted in 176 criminal charges filed.

Dadamio said the process is very paperwork intensive because his team is looking for any assessments that don't add up.

"And if there is a loss to the agency they're going to identify that loss and then they're going to retrieve that through administrative means or through the criminal process," Dadamio said.

Dadamio said part of the success of the crackdown program comes from local residents. Last year, more than 2,400 phone calls from residents reported suspected fraud and abuse.

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