HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy at a news conference in Hartford said he’s ordered an investigation into multiple incidents of possible fraud in emergency aid, following Hurricane Irene.
Benefits under the federal “Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Program” were opened up to Connecticut families after the storm. They could requesting and receive money to replace spoiled food and cover other expenses.
More than 20,000 people applied, but there were income guidelines, and Malloy says certain state employees had no business getting the payments of up to $1,200.
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“There is no doubt that a large number of state employees or any employee group qualified for this relief. What we’re talking about is people who then came, filled out a document, and in that disclosure failed to put the appropriate information,” he said.
That “appropriate information” is specifically their income.
“So we’re not talking about years of abuse. We’re talking about people receiving benefits they were not entitled to. What I find so troubling is if, as we believe, state employees defrauded the system,” he said.
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“If we find out that state employees or anyone else for that matter, used the occurrence of Tropical Storm Irene as an opportunity to defraud the disaster funding program, the consequences will be immediate and severe,” he said.
The Department of Social Services’ investigation is underway, and consequences of prosecution and termination may follow.
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