The Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI)
What is the BSI?
The Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) is a law enforcement office within the NYS Division of Nutrition (DON). BSI's mission is to minimize exposure to risk of funds administered by the DON supplemental food programs through prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of those who abuse and defraud. BSI will also make recommendations to program managers for improvements in internal controls. The programs which BSI protects include Women, Infant's and Children (WIC), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP). BSI's fraud detection and prevention is achieved through the use of traditional investigative methods in an effort to minimize waste, fraud and abuse.
Who does BSI investigate?
- Participants of the DON Supplemental Food Programs
- Contractors with the DON:
- Vendors - grocery stores and pharmacies that provide foods to WIC participants
- Local Agencies that administer the WIC Program and CSFP
- Food Banks, Pantries, and Soup Kitchens that receive HPNAP funding
- Day Care Centers and Home Day Care Providers and their sponsor agencies that participate in CACFP
- DON Employees
What is fraud?
There are many different types of fraud that the BSI investigates, but there is never a clear-cut model for fraud since it can evolve as the times change. Below are some examples of fraud that the Bureau investigates:
- Participants who misrepresent their circumstances to make themselves eligible to participate in a DON Program (ex. false income, family composition or pregnancy);
- Stealing or sale of supplemental foods or food instruments to vendors or individuals and/or altering the amount or name on WIC checks;
- Participants enrolled in more than one supplemental food program (eg: CSFP & WIC) or enrolled multiple times in one program;
- Day Care Centers that falsely report the number of children they serve or that don't serve meals for which they receive funding; and/or
- Food Banks, Soup Kitchens, or Food Pantries that sell their food; refuse to serve individuals; or are not open during their reported business hours.
- Fraud: It's a trap
- Selling or swapping WIC checks or foods is against the law (PDF)
- Together we can stop WIC Program fraud and abuse (PDF)
What can you do if you suspect fraud?
If you suspect that someone may be committing fraud in any of the Division of Nutrition's supplemental food programs then please contact the Bureau of Special Investigations. You may report your concerns anonymously. If the investigation results in no finding of fraud, there is no adverse action for either the complainant or subject of investigation.
You can contact a BSI investigator by calling the toll free hotline at 1-877-282-6657 or by filling out the form and mailing or faxing it to the address below.
Contact:New York State Department of Health
Division of Nutrition/Bureau of Special Investigations
P.O Box 2061
Albany, New York 12220-0061
Phone: (877) 282-6657
Fax :(518) 402-1637
Equal Opportunity Notice
WIC, CSFP and CACFP are equal-opportunity providers.