December 20, 2011
Over $4.9 million in Possible Fraud Found since 2009
Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos released his follow up audit of the Nassau County Department of Social Services Office of Investigations (“OI”) which found the department had become very effective in investigating and identifying fraud in Medicaid and social assistance programs. The OI department ranks as one of the most effective in New York State and was successful in identifying and referring up to $4.9 million for prosecution during 2009 and 2010. This represents a significant improvement for the OI over the Comptroller’s last audit in 2004 which had discovered numerous shortcomings and few prosecutions.
The Comptroller’s audit found that significant organizational improvements had been implemented since the prior 2004 audit. The Office of Investigations is now under the supervision of an attorney with over four years of welfare fraud experience who was also a federal law enforcement official in the Department of Homeland Security. All staff is adequately trained. The Department also has an effective public outreach initiative with a website which describes the types of welfare fraud, a hotline to report suspected fraud, as well as posters asking the public to report suspected fraud.
"The improved results of the Department of Social Services sends a clear message that Nassau County is here to assist those who legitimately need help,” Comptroller Maragos added. “Those who try and cheat the system will be referred for prosecution.”