MFIA is an organization of approximately 100 individuals from within the State of Minnesota who have combined their efforts to fight fraud, waste, and abuse in social service programs. Our primary focus is on the detection, elimination and prosecution of those who fraudulently obtain government benefits. Members include investigators, administrators, prosecutors, eligibility workers and claims officers from local, state and federal agencies. We sincerely hope that the information in this website is of use and interest to not only our membership, but to prospective members and all other visitors as well.
The Minnesota Fraud Investigators Association (MFIA) was the brainchild of three investigators who attended the MN Family Support and Recovery Council (MFSRC) Annual Seminar in 1986. These investigators were from Benton, Otter Tail and Morrison counties. Contact was made with several investigators in the central Minnesota area and a meeting was scheduled for October 17th, 1986 at a small cafe in Foley MN. Those attending included investigators from Benton, Otter Tail, Morrison, Chisago, Stearns, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs, Sherburne, Wright and Pine Counties. The Dept. of Human Services (DHS) was also represented.
Welfare Fraud Investigation is a fairly young field. In the early to mid-1980's these investigations were regularly conducted by child support officers, financial workers, financial worker supervisors and in some cases collection officers. The original intent in developing an association was to bring together those who were conducting these investigations, to learn from each other’s experience and educational backgrounds, to better provide necessary training, to rewrite the job description in order to obtain more qualified persons to conduct welfare fraud criminal investigations and enhance the credibility of the investigators and investigations. The association was also given a name, the Minnesota Fraud Investigators Association or "MFIA".
In order to move these ideas forward and delegate responsibility, elections were held. Officers elected included Tom Buersken - Chairman, Pam Weber - Vice Chairman, Gene Patron - Secretary/Treasurer, Al "Butch" Shaffer - MFSRC Delegate and Dan Haley - DHS Liaison. A second meeting was scheduled for December 12th, 1986 at a restaurant in Elk River MN. Thirty-one investigators representing 25 counties attended this meeting.
Additional meetings were held at an IRS training seminar in January of 1987 at Ruttgers Bay Lake Lodge in Deerwood MN, and at the Sunwood Inn in St. Cloud MN in May of 1987. In the fall of 1987 a meeting was held at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Anoka MN. MFIA conducted its first full member election of officers. Elected was Al Shaffer of Pine County - Chairman, Al Anderson of Otter Tail County - Vice Chairman, Ken Nordin of Region 8 - Sec/treasurer, along with eight director positions. The by-laws were developed and MFIA had become a reality. At the fall conference in 1988 the association adopted the logo of a wolf in sheeps' clothing. In 1989 MFIA became affiliated with the United Council On Welfare Fraud (UCOWF) a national association of welfare fraud investigators.