By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Five months after launching an initiative to increase welfare fraud referrals and criminal prosecutions, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Robert A. Lovingood welcomed a High Desert welfare fraud sweep that ended with the arrest of 10 people.
The 10 suspects are from Victorville, Hesperia, Apple Valley and Barstow. They were arrested on outstanding warrants and are suspected of illegally obtaining over $96,000 in public assistance. More sweeps will be conducted around San Bernardino County.
“Taxpayers have the right to know that government agencies are ferreting out and prosecuting welfare fraud,” Lovingood said. “We will continue to work on this initiative with District Attorney Michael Ramos and my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors. I want the cheaters to know that these welfare fraud sweeps will continue in San Bernardino County.”
At the initiative of Lovingood, the County Board of Supervisors took action March 1 to develop procedures to increase welfare fraud referrals and criminal prosecutions.
Public assistance programs are created and funded by federal and state governments. California has 12 percent of the nation’s population, but 34 percent of the nation’s welfare cases. California also ranks third in per capita spending on welfare.
Lovingood offered his thanks to members of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the San Bernardino County Human Services Department who assisted in the investigations and participated in the sweep.
The Board of Supervisors supports a collaborative effort among Human Services, the District Attorney, and the County Administrative Office to develop and improve protocols and procedures that will increase the referral and prosecution rate of welfare fraud cases within the County. These protocols will ensure that best practices are put in place with a broad County goal of reducing welfare fraud.