Fraud Prevention: Crimes against Revenue on the Rise
Fraud perpetrated by or on behalf of local public assistance recipients continues to be a recurring sore spot in the ability of local jurisdictions to control growing costs, and improve revenue collections and use. “Crimes against revenue” is a particular phrase used over past years by localities seeking to address this kind of public sector fraud – for example, New York’s “Crimes against Revenues Program” (CARP). This program is designed to hold accountable those who deliberately fail to pay tax obligations, as well as those who commit Medicaid, welfare, unemployment and workers’ compensation fraud.
As described via the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services , the program, established in 2004, “provides grants to District Attorneys’ offices across the state so they can investigate and prosecute these cases. All taxes, such as excise, sales, and income, are subject to CARP activities, and investigations focus on individuals, corporations or industries and include complex financial fraud and tax evasion schemes by major criminal enterprises.”
Additional funding for fraud recovery programs such as this continues to increase – for example New county prosecutors across New York State were reported late last year to have been provided nearly $1 million “in extra funding to combat tax and welfare fraud, in a move Gov. Andrew Cuomo said … will boost their ability to recover revenue for the state. The new money, $860,000 in total, adds to the state’s Crimes Against Revenue Program, which over 10 years has recovered $160 million on grant funding totaling $90 million, the governor’s office said.”
Fraud perpetrated via misappropriation of money through public assistance programs can be particularly tricky to identify and control over time, and public awareness of the severity and extent of these misappropriations is growing. While major incidents of welfare fraud, for example, continue to be exposed through lengthy investigations and manual legwork (for example in this recent welfare fraud sweep in Cayuga County, NY, major fraud prevention technology solution providers such as Equifax are now offering State and local governments extremely powerful, advanced capabilities for detecting and preventing fraud during the social service transaction lifecycle – from initial application, including identity, employment and income verification, through disbursement and utilization.
Public assistance fraudsters are busier than ever creating illegitimate or faked identities using a combination of true and fabricated information. Preventing synthetic identity fraud is about validating incoming identities presented during the application process – to stop fraud before it gets past the front door. Equifax offers deep expertise in helping government benefits agencies predict the likelihood they are dealing with a real person and not a fictitious or fraudulent identity. Equifax offers a complete suite of identity management and analytics solutions, and are industry leaders in helping public benefit services customers prevent fraud, improve regulatory compliance and ultimately generate savings based on disqualification from future benefits disbursal.
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