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Welfare Fraud


The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office has a Welfare Fraud Unit that consists of five sworn investigators located in the Salinas District Attorney's Office. The Welfare Fraud Unit has one dedicated Deputy District Attorney and one legal secretary. The investigators assigned to the Welfare Fraud Unit are all sworn peace officers.

The Welfare Fraud Unit’s primary function is to investigate and prosecute cases of Welfare Fraud. A welfare fraud occurs when a person either makes a false representation or omits pertinent information when applying for public assistance, in order to receive a benefit they are not otherwise entitled to. Investigators also assist local law enforcement agencies with cases when allegations of welfare fraud are involved. The Welfare Fraud Unit investigates referrals received from various sources.

What is Welfare Fraud?

Welfare Fraud occurs when a person(s) makes false statements, and/or misrepresents facts or circumstances to the Department of Employment and Social Services (DESS) in order to obtain Cash Assistance, Food Stamps, Child Care, In-Home Support Services and/or General Assistance benefits.

Types of Welfare Fraud:

  • Failure to report income or money received
  • Failure to report the return of the absent parent to the home
  • Failure to report a child out of the home
  • Failure to report property or assets
  • Internal employee fraud
  • Duplicate Aid
  • Forgery or duplicate warrants
  • Receiving Public Assistance Benefits to which they are not entitled

Welfare recipients also commit fraud when they continue to receive Cash Assistance, Food Stamps and General Assistance benefits that they are not entitled to, which generates an overpayment of monies or benefits in their case. Welfare Fraud is a crime! Penalties range from restitution, disqualification for future benefits, community service, home detention, county jail time and state prison sentences. The final disposition is up to the Judge and can include one or all of the mentioned penalties. Restitution is generally ordered in all cases during the sentencing process.

Reporting Fraud
Please report suspected fraud directly to the District Attorney’s Office at (831) 755-3224.

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