Nearly 1200 dead people are still getting Massachusetts welfare benefits. That's the headline from a new report on fraud in the system.
The report from the state auditor found people cashing in dead people's benefits for months or even years, to the tune of $2.4 million.
"Fraud prevention has to be a major focus for any government benefit program. It clearly was not," said State Auditor Suzanne Bump of the review of the Department of Transitional Assistance.
The audit found significant problems in the state's food stamp or EBT program such as no documentation for 30,000 blank EBT cards, $15 million in questionable transactions that should have been investigated, including $1.5 million in possible illegal sales of EBT cards to stores for cash.
In March, Rhode Island issued a similar report, with eerily similar findings: dead people and inmates continuing to get food stamps, and EBT cards being sold at stores. Cashing in EBT cards is a problem highlighted by the NBC10 I-Team 2 years ago.
In Massachusetts, the state auditor says the Department of Transitional Assistance has created an action plan to address the concerns raised in the report.