The Pitkin County Economic Assistance Department will launch a new Joint Fraud Investigations Collaborative on April 15, 2018. The collaborative will investigate cases of possible public assistance fraud to comply with state and federal statutes established to ensure the integrity of local public assistance programs.
“Our public assistance programs are essential to keeping our community healthy and they support our neighbors who are struggling, but their exploitation reduces our ability to help those who truly need these services,” said Pitkin County Economic Assistance Manager, Samuel Landercasper.
The goal of the collaborative is to preserve benefits for individuals and families who are truly eligible and in need of this assistance and safeguard taxpayer dollars to ensure that they are being spent appropriately. Fraud is defined in SNAP regulations as “the act committed by a person when obtaining, attempting to obtain, or aiding and abetting another to obtain assistance benefits through intentionally false statements, representations, or the withholding of material information.”
Programs that Pitkin County Economic Assistance administers include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Health First Colorado (Medicaid), and the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP). While the majority of the investigations will be completed by Economic Assistance investigators, the department will collaborate with community partners on an as-needed basis. Partners include the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, the Aspen Police Department, the Town of Snowmass Village Police Department, the Basalt Police Department, and the Office of the District Attorney 9th Judicial District.
“This program will not target people who make mistakes. We will only investigate instances of fraud in which the perpetrator(s) intentionally provided false information in order to obtain benefits for which they were not eligible,” Landercasper said.
The Pitkin County Economic Assistance program is designed to help those in need and its primary purpose is to oversee eligibility determination of these programs for Pitkin County residents.
Questions about the program or to report suspected fraud should be directed to the Pitkin County Economic Assistance department at (970) 920-5244 or via email to:
Contact: Samuel Landercasper, Economic Assistance Manager: (970) 309-3474