Welfare Fraud

The Office of the District Attorney provides investigative services for the Shasta County Department of Health and Human Services (HHSA) for allegations of welfare fraud. 

Welfare fraud is defined as obtaining public assistance (CalWORKs, CalFresh, Homeless Assistance, Medi-Cal) by means of false representation, false device, or omission of key facts.  Individuals who commit welfare fraud can be charged with Welfare & Institution Code 10980 – Welfare Fraud, and Penal Code Section 118 – Perjury.  In addition to recovery of the illegally obtained benefits, criminal penalties are also sought for individuals who commit welfare fraud. Welfare fraud investigations consist of Early Fraud, Ongoing Fraud and EBT Trafficking.


Early Fraud

Early Fraud investigations are focused on preventing welfare benefits from being issued to clients who are not eligible.  Investigators conduct field investigations to provide information to HHSA staff in order for them to have accurate information before issuing welfare benefits and to assist in preventing the fraudulent receipt of welfare benefits.

Ongoing Welfare Fraud

Ongoing Welfare Fraud investigations focus on allegations that clients had received benefits for which they were not eligible and potentially did so by fraud.   The DA’s Office and HHSA receive allegations from numerous sources, including several computer matches against state and federal information.  Three of the most common types of welfare fraud allegations are that the “Household” has more income available to them that they report to HHSA, the “Household” has more people living in the home than they report to HHSA (it is not uncommon that one of the persons unreported in the home is the parent of one of the children) and the “Household” does not report when they are over the Income Reporting Threshold (IRT).  All client-caused over issuance/overpayments over $950.00 are referred by HHSA to the DA’s Office for possible criminal prosecution.

EBT Trafficking

EBT Trafficking investigations focus on stopping and identifying clients who trade, sell or give unauthorized users their EBT cards for use.  EBT cards are for the sole use of the named client on the card, unless they have an authorized representative name on their HHSA account.

In Shasta County, HHSA and the DA’s Office continue to take an active role in conducting investigations targeted at preventing fraud from occurring and/or minimizing the amounts.



How to Report Suspected Welfare Fraud in Shasta County

Shasta County District Attorney Welfare Fraud Investigation Unit: (530)225-5606

Shasta County HHSA Welfare Fraud Hotline: (530) 225-5374 or QSUinbox@co.shasta.ca.us

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