EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) —The Office of State Inspector General stated during the month of August, 48 people have been charged with public assistance fraud.

According to the Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) in these cases, the restitution owed to the Commonwealth totaled $236,411, and additionally, those 48 individuals will be temporarily disqualified from receiving public benefits in which they allegedly defrauded.

OSIG said during the month of August they filed felony charges against 46 people for receiving benefits fraudulently and two people separately on misdemeanor charges.

Allegedly those charged falsely reported their household circumstances and received tax-payer-funded benefits they were not entitled to, said OSIG.

In the case of SNAP, Cash Assistance, or Subsidized Day Care fraud, those individuals will also face a mandatory disqualification period from the benefits program they have allegedly defrauded.

Officials said the maximum penalty for public assistance fraud is seven years in prison with a $15,000 fine.