HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania state fraud investigators have been asked to look into cases in which someone was apparently using cash benefits and food stamps loaded onto electronic cards linked to the Social Security number of a dead person.

Department of Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth said Tuesday that her agency asked the inspector general's office to look into five cases after state auditors raised the matter.

Auditors say they found that the department had paid out more than $200,000 in benefits through 138 electronic benefit transfer cards linked to the Social Security numbers of dead people between July 2011 and March 2012.

But Department of Public Welfare officials say many of those Social Security numbers were incorrect in their system, and the cards belong to living people.



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