Under Welfare and Institutions Code § 10980 it is illegal to obtain government by deception. That can be by making false reports to the welfare department or failing to report things that are required by the welfare department. Many times people get into trouble if they fail to report income to the welfare department. Other times a person fails to report or lies about their household composition. For example, lies or fails to report that the father of the children is in or not in the home. Welfare Fraud is a very serious crime. If charged as a misdemeanor then the person faces up to 1 year in jail. However, this crime can be charged as a felony and the person faces up to 3 years in custody. Resitution is always a big factor in these cases because if found guilty of this crime then the government can demand all of the welfare that was illegally obtained by the fraud. That number can sometimes get into the 10's and thousands of dollars or more.
Other crimes that are closely related to Welfare Fraud and are usually charged together are Penal Code § 487, Grand Theft and Penal Code § 118, Perjury. Grand Theft is provable if the amount taken from the government by fraud is over $950. Perjury is proven because when applying for or updating a welfare case the participant signs the forms "under the penalty of perjury". Unfortunately, perjury is not a "wobbler" and is always charged as a felony.
If you are someone you know is facing Welfare Fraud charges or even allegations, DO NOT GIVE a statement to the welfare department or police. Immediately contact the Bogan Law Firm.