Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced that the Department of Social Services (DSS) protected taxpayers from another $1 million in Welfare fraud thanks to a $100,000 grant from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) that enabled the department to expand and improve upon its technological and investigative practices. Since taking office, County Executive Mangano has made aggressive efforts in rooting our welfare fraud and abuse.
County Executive Mangano stated, “The Department of Social Services is constantly seeking to root out waste, fraud and abuse of our tax dollars. Thanks to the assistance from a state grant, we expanded our investigative techniques and developed additional tools to detect child care fraud and abuse. This is more than a one thousand percent return on the State’s investment and will continue to insure that only those truly eligible for child care services will receive them.”
DSS Commissioner Dr. John Imhof added that “New York State is aware of Nassau County’s track record in rooting our fraud and abuse, and our winning this competitive grant paid off with cost avoidance and savings that our taxpayers will appreciate.”
The savings announced today include $832,500 in cost avoidance (by closing current child care cases due to detection of fraud) in addition to $194,250 in cost savings by denying cases before they were opened due to fraudulent information on the applications. DSS had previously achieved cost avoidance in Child Care of $2.2 million in 2011 by restructuring its subsidized Day Care program to better serve the more than 4,500 children, including an initiative that now mandates applicants to submit a notarized form attesting to off-the-books employment.
That 2011 initiative coupled with the results of the current OCFS grant has brought the total savings and cost avoidance in child care to a total of $3.2 million.
DSS Director of Investigations Scott Skrynecki notes that “we want to send a clear message to anyone considering cheating the child care system that our tools and techniques will uncover fraud and abuse that may very well lead to arrest and prosecution. In 2013, we’ve already referred seven cases of day care recipient fraud totaling $209,000 to the District Attorney’s office and we will continue these aggressive efforts on behalf of our taxpayers.”