Press Release

January 31, 2020

2019 Annual Public Assistance Fraud Update

AUGUSTA – In calendar year 2019, the Fraud Investigations and Recovery Unit (FIRU) of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) received a total of 1,129 calls and allegations of potential fraud cases. Of those, 783 were found to be legitimate and have been processed for further review and possible investigation. Some of the allegations were referred to other appropriate agencies as they included topics such as drug trafficking or child abuse. Calls not referred for investigation involved reports of persons who were not actually receiving benefits, lacked information to identify a specific client, or contained incorrect information.

FIRU Investigators presented 14 cases to the attorney general's office for potential prosecution. An additional 21 cases were filed with local District Attorneys' Offices. FIRU also aided federal agencies in the investigation of two separate cases for alleged theft. For numbers related to the prosecution of those cases, please contact the attorney general's office or the local District Attorney Offices.

FIRU investigates cases of fraud involving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and MaineCare, as well as fraud relating to General Assistance or Housing Assistance from local municipalities. The Department of Health and Human Services is committed to the program's integrity and effectiveness.

The annual public assistance fraud update is provided pursuant to MRSA Title 22-A, Chapter 1, §206.

To report potential fraud, use our online fraud reporting form or call the Fraud Hotline at 1-866-348-1129.