Cayuga DA calls for legislature to accept CARP grant

The Cayuga County District Attorney is making a plea to county residents to let legislators know that Crimes Against Revenue Program funding is a crucial part of preventing financial crimes and public assistance fraud, which are both common throughout the region. District Attorney Jon Budelmann announced on Wednesday that Cayuga County is now in jeopardy of losing a $321,000 grant that his office has secured for the next three years. The program allows the District Attorney’s Office in Cayuga County to prosecute people committing various financial crimes and public assistance fraud against taxpayers.Budelmann said in a statement:“I am reaching out to the citizens and voters of Cayuga County for their support in urging the Legislature to accept a three-year, $321,000 Crimes Against Revenue Program (CARP) Grant, to help prosecute public assistance fraud and other crimes committed in our County. Over the next three years this $321,000 would help protect our community from those who are stealing from hardworking taxpayers and those in need.”While Budelmann pointed out that their priority was violent crime, he pointed out that drug dealers will frequently apply for and receive public assistance benefits. Some of these individuals even receive the benefits fraudulently. His statement continued:“Please don’t misunderstand me, there are many among us who are in real need of these temporary benefits. Most honestly report their financial circumstances (and, of course, are not drug dealers). However, thanks to the CARP grant, we have been able to prosecute individuals defrauding the system, get money returned to the taxpayers, and disqualify these individuals from receiving future benefits.”This is a program that has serious benefits for the community as a whole. Last year, the the CARP program saved taxpayers close to a million dollars — at no net cost to taxpayers. Something his office has grown incredibly proud of. In all, more than $140,000 was collected last year in restitution from individuals who illegally claimed public assistance benefits. In addition to that, Cayuga County disqualified individuals who wrongly received benefits from receiving more than $800,000 in future benefits. More than 100 cases of fraud were tried last year, which fell under the purview of the CARP program. Right now, the Cayuga County Legislature is deciding whether they will accept a $321,000 grant from New York State to allow the county to continue the program for three more years. The types of crimes that would be thwarted with this funding include tax fraud, worker’s compensation fraud, insurance fraud, and public assistance/welfare fraud.Click here to send an email to the legislature to voice your concern.

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