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The goal of he Welfare Fraud Special Investigative Unit is to safeguard public assistance funds at the county level through the prevention, detection, and investigation of welfare fraud and recovery of misspent funds.

Reporting Welfare Fraud
If you believe you may have witnessed welfare fraud, which is considered a crime, you may contact the Welfare Fraud Special Investigative Unit, located within the Tuolumne County Department of Social Services. Please call 209-533-5711 and ask to speak to the Fraud Unit to file a report. Reports can be made anonymously, if necessary. 

A complete and detailed referral should be made to the Fraud Unit when there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a crime, such as fraud, perjury, embezzlement, trafficking, etc., against a public social services program has been committed. Be prepared to give details on:
  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Children’s names and ages
  • An explanation of the fraudulent circumstances
  • Approximate time period of crime committed

What is Welfare Fraud?
Fraud exists when a person, on behalf of himself or others has:
  • Knowingly (with the intent to deceive or defraud) made a false statement or representation to obtain public assistance benefits, obtain a continuance or increase in these benefits, or avoid a reduction of public assistance benefits
  • Knowingly (with the intent to deceive or defraud) failed to disclose a fact, which, if disclosed, could have resulted in the denial, reduction, or discontinuance of benefits
  • Accepted benefits knowing he/she is not entitled to, or accepted any amount of benefits knowing it is greater than the amount to which he/she is entitled
  • Made statements, which he/she did not know to be true, with reckless regard for the truth, for the purpose of obtaining, continuing, or avoiding a reduction or denial of public assistance benefits.

After a Report is Made
Cases of suspected fraud are evaluated by the Department of Social Service’s Special Investigations Unit. If public assistance over payments are determined, repayment arrangements are established. These cases may also be referred to the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of prosecution. We do prosecute Welfare Fraud in Tuolumne County!

Approximately $50,000 is recovered and repaid each year, as a result of Welfare Fraud investigation activities.