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United for Integrity

The United Council on Welfare Fraud (UCOWF) has a rich history of dedication to combating welfare fraud and ensuring the integrity of public assistance programs. Its roots can be traced back to 1971 when the National Welfare Fraud Association (NWFA) was established.

The NWFA was largely composed of states across America but excluded Eastern coastal states. A second organization, the Eastern Regional Council on Welfare Fraud, was formed in 1975 composed largely of those Eastern coastal states that were not a part of NWFA.

Then, in 1985, the two organizations combined and UCOWF emerged as a true national organization and collaborative platform where government officials, law enforcement agencies, and experts in the field could join forces to address the challenges posed by fraudulent activities within welfare systems.

From its inception, UCOWF has played a pivotal role in shaping policies, sharing best practices, and fostering cooperation among various stakeholders involved in the prevention and detection of welfare fraud. The organization has been a driving force in disseminating of successful strategies and innovative technologies across America aimed at identifying and prosecuting those who exploit public assistance programs for personal gain.

Over the years, UCOWF has evolved to meet the changing landscape of welfare fraud, sharing information with members about new technologies and emerging methodologies employed by fraudulent actors. The council has served as a hub for the exchange of information, allowing members to stay abreast of developing trends and to collaborate on effective countermeasures. UCOWF facilitates collaboration among its members through its social media presence, its website, and its membership directory.

UCOWF's commitment to education and training has been singular in helping states build a skilled and informed workforce dedicated to combating welfare fraud. The organization annually conducts national conferences, produces quarterly newsletters, provides in-depth analyses on pending policies and proposed rule changes through white papers, and offers a national certification for members that enables professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills in the ongoing battle against fraudulent activities.

As a leader in the field, UCOWF has also engaged with policymakers to advocate for legislative measures that strengthen the legal framework surrounding welfare programs and improve the tools available to combat fraud effectively. Leveraging the real-world experiences of its members for facts about fraud and the in-house talents it possesses, UCOWF continually refines fraud fighting strategies it promotes to policymakers and national lawmakers.

As UCOWF looks toward the future, the organization remains steadfast in its mission to protect the integrity of public assistance programs, promote collaboration among stakeholders, and stay at the forefront of efforts to prevent and detect welfare fraud. Through its continued dedication, UCOWF strives to ensure that public resources are directed towards those who genuinely need assistance, fostering a fair and just welfare system for all.


1971-1974 — Richard B. Peterson (NWFA)  CA
1974-1975 — Richard F. Risley (NWFA)   MN
1975-1976 — Dorothy M. Forney (NWFA)  PA
1976-1977 — Robert E. Heilson (NWFA)  WA
1977-1978 — James R. Curseaden (NWFA)  IN
1978-1979 — Mary Lou Stone (NWFA)  ID
1979-1980 — Carl Chase, Jr. (NWFA)  SC
1980-1981 — Edward L. Richards (NWFA)  TX
1981-1982 — Frank Lawrence (NWFA)  CA
1982-1983 — Thomas J. Lyndon (NWFA)  MO
1983-1984 — Ellen J. Chestnutt (NWFA)  CO
1984-1985 — Edward P. Roth (NWFA)  MI
1978-1979 — James Dick, (ERCOWF)  NJ
1979-1980 — Billy G. Davis, (ERCOWF) FL
1980-1981 — John J. Parrish, (ERCOWF) ME
1981-1982 — Limmie Morton, (ERCOWF) MD
1982-1983 — Bert N. Smith, (ERCOWF) VT
1983-1984 — Karen A. Ludwick, (ERCOWF) MI
1984-1985 — Stephen W. Tator, (ERCOWF) NY
1985-1986 — Charles Sharp, AZ
1986-1987 — Lawrence W. Quabeck, GA
1987-1988 — Gordon Hardy, TX
1988-1989 — Richard G. Finkelstein, NY
1989-1990 — Robert T. Bumbalough, TN
1990-1991 — Dennis Micai, NJ
1991-1992 — Martha Armstrong, SD
1992-1993 — Martha Armstrong, SD
1993-1994 — Raymond L. Riddle, Jr., NC
1994-1995 — Elaine M. Minkler, NJ
1995-1996 — Gary Ware, OH
1996-1997 — Sandy N. Smith, VA
1997-1998 — Chris M. Tolia, FL
1998-1999 — Claude E. Hill TX
1999-2000 — Charlotte R. Livingston, GA
2000-2001 — J. Allan Anderson, MN
2001-2002 — Gwen Smith, AL
2002-2003 — Mike Rice, NY
2003-2004 — Rod Anderson, SD,
2004-2005 — Sherri Compton, OK
2005-2006 — Linda Wright, IA
2006-2007 — Jane Wasman, OH
2007-2008 — Luther Nicholes, MI
2008-2009 — Russ Fernandes
2009-2010 — Paula Kingery, IA
2010-2011 — John Bumford, WA
2011-2012 — Kathy Dolan, IA
2012-2013 — Denny Erickson, IL
2013-2014 — Tom Ryan, NY
2014-2015 — Karen Bodard, BC
2015-2016 — Patrick Hallum, AR
2016-2017 — Patrick Hallum, AR
2017-2018 — Jack Heacock, FL
2018-2019 — Shelia Dorsett, NC
2019-2020 — Shelia Dorsett, NC
2020-2021 — Dawn Royal, WY
2021-2022 — Dawn Royal, WY
2022-2023 — Andrew Petitt, WV
2023-2024 — Carrol Christian, KS

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