The state auditor's office says it has uncovered nearly $17 million in welfare fraud during the last fiscal year, a 9 percent increase over the previous year and the seventh consecutive year of higher fraud amounts.
Auditor Suzanne Bump said in a statement that the findings do not indicate more fraud, but are a reflection of better techniques at uncovering welfare cheats. In all, the office completed 1,150 investigations.
The investigation covers the period from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017.
Bump says 61 percent of the fraud was in MassHealth, the state's Medicaid program.
She says her office work ensures taxpayer dollars are used effectively and that benefits are available to residents who truly need and qualify for them.