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What constitutes client fraud in Oregon?

Fraud as a white collar crime is considered a serious problem in the United States, and even here in Oregon. Therefore, law enforcement authorities take the matter seriously and have set up certain measures to address the problem. The Department of Human Services has developed a program to oversee the investigation of reported and alleged fraud.

The main focus areas overseen by the program include benefit fraud and client eligibility issues. When necessary, the Department of Human Services coordinates and operates in tandem with state, federal and county authorities to address reports of fraud. International law enforcement authorities are also notified in these matters, if necessary.

By definition, client fraud is fraud against the department wherein unlawful practices are employed in order to obtain cash benefits and food or medical assistance from the state. Such cases of fraud can be traced back to the intentional misstatement or suppression of information which affects eligibility and results in an overpayment.

Investigators are known to look into cases in which an individual is suspected of failing to report their employment or recurring income which is not sourced from reported employment. If a person receives but does not report child support or child care, they could be the subject of a fraud investigation by the department. A willful violation of the reporting requirements is considered client fraud and can disqualify the individual from receiving state assistance.

Additionally, using a false identity or fraudulently using an Oregon Trail card can also be considered client fraud and can attract heavy penalties, including criminal charges.

Source: Oregon.gov, "Fraud Reporting and Investigations," accessed on Feb. 26, 2015

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