Welfare Fraud


The Welfare Fraud Unit's mission is to maintain the integrity of the welfare system.


The Welfare Fraud Division of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office has a team of 5 sworn investigators located in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Santa Maria, under the supervision of a Senior Criminal Investigator. The Unit has a support staff of one investigative assistant.

The Unit investigates cases of known or suspected violations of the law related to the fraudulent receipt of welfare funds. Investigators trace, locate, and contact suspects, witnesses, employers, other law enforcement agencies and other public and private entities to secure and verify information related to welfare fraud. Suspects and witnesses are interviewed and their testimony is analyzed to determine allegations of fraud or forgeries related to welfare benefits.


Welfare fraud most commonly consists of welfare recipients failing to report income, failing to report that an absent parent is no longer absent, or failing to report that aided children no longer live in the aided household. Through this fraud, welfare recipients receive cash aid and/or food stamps for which they are ineligible.

Whether enforcement action is criminal or civil, the primary goals of litigation are restitution to the taxpayers for the fraudulently obtained services and deterrence.


Contact Information


Santa Barbara
Welfare Fraud Unit
1112 Santa Barbara St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Tel: (805) 568-2323


Santa Maria
Welfare Fraud Unit
2125 So. Centerpointe Parkway
Santa Maria, CA 93454
Tel: (805) 346-7134

Welfare Fraud Unit
115 E. Civic Center Plaza
Lompoc, CA 93436
Tel: (805) 737-7837

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