The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office Welfare Fraud Unit consists of Deputy District Attorneys, Investigators, a Collections Officer and support staff who prepare, review, investigate and file criminal welfare fraud charges. The purpose of this Unit is to investigate, prevent and prosecute cases of welfare fraud.
Welfare fraud occurs when a person either makes a false representation or fails to report important information when applying for public assistance in order to receive a benefit that the person is not otherwise entitled to.
Welfare fraud investigations are mandated by the State of California within the Welfare and Institutions Code Sections for the protection of Welfare funds. Welfare fraud is prosecuted under Welfare and Institutions Code Section 10980. In the absence of specific sections within the Welfare and Institutions Code, welfare fraud is prosecuted under Penal Code Section 487 (Grand Theft), Penal Code Section 72 (Presentation of fraudulent claim), Penal Code Section 118 (Perjury) and Penal Code Section 182 (Conspiracy).
The Welfare Fraud Unit receives referrals of welfare fraud from several sources including the Department of Social Services Employment & Temporary Assistance, the welfare fraud hotline as well as other agencies that refer possible welfare fraud cases to the District Attorney’s Office.
Cases are first received by the welfare fraud investigators. After careful review, they will determine if the cases should be referred to an Ongoing Fraud investigation, an Early Fraud welfare case or a Welfare Fraud Diversion program. The deputy district attorneys will then receive the cases and determine if a criminal filing is appropriate.
Welfare Fraud Links
Report Welfare Fraud
If you suspect someone might be committing welfare fraud, please report it to the District Attorney's Office at (559) 600-5045.
Welfare Fraud Hotline