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May Is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month

Updated: May 21





PORTSMOUTH, OHIO – May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio, and the

Scioto County Department of Job and Family Services is spreading the word that “Fraud Costs All of Us.”


JFS Director, Tammy Moore Morton, and her team are bringing awareness to the community

about the agency’s dedication to prosecuting those individuals who are committing fraud. "Our Fraud Investigators are working hard to prepare the cases that are turned over to the County Prosecutor. For those who think you can get away with Public Assistance Fraud, you should think again.”


In SFY 2023, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services disburses more than $4 billion in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and more than $200 million in Ohio Works First cash assistance. Individuals who mislead caseworkers or provide false information on an application for benefits account for a very small percentage of the funding disbursed, but the department takes even the smallest fraud cases very seriously.


Scioto County JFS investigates every referral of fraud. “I’m proud of the work done by our

fraud investigators. They work closely with our community partners and local retailers. I

especially want to thank our Prosecuting Attorney, Shane Tieman and his staff along with the

Ohio Investigative Unit for the assistance and guidance they provide. Working together, we’re making a difference.” - Heidi Riepenhoff, Public Assistance Administrator


If you aren’t sure what constitutes public assistance fraud, Becky Irwin, Fraud Investigator will tell you, “If it’s not used for food, it’s fraud. Buying, selling or trading Ohio Direction or EBT cards is a felony.” “Everyone has a responsibility to report public assistance fraud,” according to Stephanie McQuithy, Fraud Investigator. It takes everyone working together to stop the cycle.


Applicants and recipients of public assistance programs are encouraged to report their

circumstances accurately and timely in order to avoid facing potential criminal charges, program disqualification and repayment of benefits issued improperly. Residents of Scioto County may report suspected public assistance fraud by calling the Scioto County Department of Job and Family Services at 740-354-6661, Option 3, or going to www.jfs.ohio.gov/fraud.

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