Bureau of Fraud Prevention and Prosecution
Since 1994, the Bureau of Fraud Prevention and Prosecution (BFPP) has been responsible for conducting investigations into suspected public benefits fraud and abuse as well as performing collection activities for public benefit programs administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS). BFPP is present throughout Pennsylvania and based in four regional offices which work in partnership with DHS County Assistance and District Offices to ensure that public benefits are distributed fairly and equitably. BFPP has an agent assigned to each of DHS’s County and District Assistance Offices throughout the state. These agents work to uncover deception before state monies are distributed.
DHS benefit programs investigated by BFPP include: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), Cash Assistance, Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Medical Assistance (including Nursing Facility/Long Term Care), Subsidized Child Care.
Under Act 29, OSIG is authorized to file criminal complaints for violations of 18 Pa.C.S. § 7313 – Buying or Exchanging Federal Food Order Coupons, Stamps, Authorization Cards or Access Devices; 18 Pa.C.S. § 7314 – Fraudulent Traffic In Food Orders; 62 Pa.C.S. § 481 – False Statements and Investigations; and 62 Pa.C.S. § 1408 – Criminal Penalties/Medical Assistance.
To facilitate filing those complaints, OSIG is proud to have been designated by the Office of Attorney General as a Criminal Justice Agency. In addition, the Pennsylvania State Police has provided OSIG a law enforcement Originating Agency Identifier (ORI) number, and the OSIG may now access criminal history record information through law enforcement databases.
BFPP's fraud prevention and prosecution work is conducted through four programs (click each to learn more):
- Field Investigation Program - BFPP detects and prevents public benefits fraud by conducting investigations on applicants and recipients of public benefits to ensure the integrity of DHS benefit programs.
- Fraud Investigation Program - BFPP investigates and prosecutes individuals who fraudulently received public benefits to which they were not entitled.
- SNAP Trafficking Unit - BFPP conducts SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) Electronic Benefits Transfer card trafficking investigations of both store owners and SNAP recipients. SNAP Trafficking occurs when SNAP benefits are illegally exchanged for cash, services, or anything other than food.
- Collections Program - BFPP is tasked by DHS with collecting overpayments of DHS public benefits.
For questions about OSIG's Fraud Prevention and Prosecution work, please visit the FAQ page: