Criminal complaint alleges illegal use of EBT cards to get welfare cash

rossyscourtThe official criminal complaint filed April 10th by Inyo District Attorney Art Maillet against Dawndee Rossy and Kenneth Rossy of Bishop lists 44 criminal counts and reveals that the Rossys allegedly used others’ identities to get welfare benefits and the use of what’s known as Electronic Benefit Transfer or EBT cards to get cash. The complaint says crimes went on between June of 2005 and the end of January of 2013.

The  complaint alleges that for eight years, the Rossys engaged in numerous crimes. The story that unfolds through the list of criminal counts alleges that from her position as Inyo Social Services Supervisor, Dawndee Rossy conspired with her husband to use the personal identifying information of 35 individuals to obtain welfare benefits for themselves.

dawndeerossycourtThe complaint also reveals that the couple allegedly obtained Electronic Benefit Transfer cards for their personal use. The DA alleges that the pair embezzled $1.565 million in total. Other informed sources said that the Rossy’s used the EBT cards at bank ATMs to get cash.

The 13-page complaint lists 44 counts, including grand theft by embezzlement, embezzlement of public funds, grand theft of personal property, misappropriation of public funds by a public officer, welfare fraud, conspiracy to commit grand theft, conspiracykenrossycourt to commit theft of public money, conspiracy to commit welfare fraud, conspiracy to commit identity theft, 31 counts of identity theft, three counts of obtaining money by false pretenses and possession of a controlled substance. That substance was listed as methamphetamine.

Dawndee and Kenneth Rossy appeared in Superior Court in Bishop on Friday where their arraignment was reportedly continued until Tuesday to allow the Probation Department to conduct a bail study. Currently, the couple remain in the Inyo County Jail under $500,000 bail each.

On Friday, they walked into the courtroom in a line of defendants dressed in jail black and white striped suits in hand cuffs and leg chains. The Rossys kept their heads down with somber expressions.

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29 Responses to Criminal complaint alleges illegal use of EBT cards to get welfare cash

  1. taya April 18, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    How did this go on for so long! that is crazy … there should be a investigation as to how that happened for so many years and at such a high $$ loss.
    I hope ALL involved get the max penalty.

    • Daylilly May 4, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

      I agree . . . an investigation that starts at the top.

  2. John Barton April 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    Remember the $800K+ embezzled from Washington Mutual Bank several years ago? That person’s supervisor trusted her too much and a lot of safeguards put in place were skipped making the crimes much easier to commit and detect. I suspect that occured here were supervisors used rubber stamps to sign off on cases without full inspection.

  3. Big Rick OBrien April 15, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    …and possession of a controlled substance. That substance was methamphetamine.
    The evil that men (and women) do.

  4. Dingo April 15, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    I had my identity stolen once, it sucked. I have ZERO sympathy for these two idiots. However I do feel bad for their friends and family (especially their kids if they have any), unless of course those friends and/or family are involved.
    Greed is a disease and karma is for real!

  5. ServingInyoCo April 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    No suprise.
    An administrative mindset prioritizing risk-avoidance, hiring and promoting those who pose no threat, valuing loyalty above competance, circling the wagons and closing the doors to avoid public disclosure in the face of potentially damaging facts, does little to actually protect and serve citizens.
    The failure here is inexcusable, unimagineable. Huge Counties w/billion dollar DHSS budgets do a better job of policing, and protecting their fiscal processes. This is a dinky County which, if nothing else, should be “manageable”.
    Inyo DHSS has always been about an inner circle protecting one another while limiting their services to maintain control and avoid taking chances. In the end that failed because it was just a hollow philosophy; not grounded in Public Service (rather the antithesis), w/o personnel, ethics, checks and balances to assure even its truly limited Departmental goals. Fiscal controls were not (obviously), a priority.
    Will be entertaining to watch the DHSS administration in the pointless and sad excersize of attempting to cover their behinds. To those looking for accountability or “The buck stops here” acceptance of responsibility; don’t hold your breath.
    The word that comes to mind, Karma.

    • JR April 15, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Very well said, and one of the most truthfull analysis of Inyo County administration I have ever read. Bravo!

  6. Lakeside April 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Did this girl ever have an evaluation? What was her relationship with her supervisor..were they related or connected another way? Did she ever take a vacation or was she ever sick? Who covered her workload when she was gone? Who monitored the case load for her and other employees? Who monitored her supervisor? How many upper management could step in and run all of the systems and know the functionality? Question after question??

    I cannot wrap my mind around 7 years and 1 million plus dollars!

    • Roy April 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

      You made a good point about taking time off or vacations… In most of the cases I investigated where there was a huge money loss, the suspect rarely took off time for a extended period for fear of having their crime being discovered while they were gone..

      I would really love to read the entire investigative report in this incident.

    • Eastern Sierra Local April 16, 2013 at 9:31 am #

      The Rossy’s were renting their house from the Supervisor at DHHS.

      • Flumoxed April 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

        Renting a house from her Supervisor? Wow! That says a lot about ethics (or lack of same) departmental values (from the top down), and the incestuous relationships developed, valued and guarded by this County Welfare Agency.

        • Daylilly May 4, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

          Yes, those relationships were guarded and probably continue to be.

      • Mark April 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

        Isn’t that nice. Now I wonder if the rent amount fits in with Dawndee Rossy salary?

        Or is it much more then someone with that salary could afford?

  7. Roy April 15, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    Just off the top of my head I figure that the amount of money stolen over the 8 years comes to over 16,000 a month…Did any friends or neighbors notice a change in their life style,,, cars, vacations, toys etc..In my experience people like this spend far more money than any legal income they bring in which should raise red flags to people around them…

    This crime should not have gone on for this many years, with this much money being stolen without someone becoming suspicious..

  8. Eastern Sierra Local April 15, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    I always wonder how Mr. Rossy was a regular at the casino for all these years, drove around in new cars, and was a regular at the local watering holes when he didn’t have a job to pay for his high flying lifestyle- I guess my suspicions were correct.

    • Mark April 15, 2013 at 9:42 am #

      I hear ya Eastern Sierra Local – hindsight is always 20/20, and your suspicions are probably often correct.

    • dustdevil April 15, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

      I am sure the paiute palace can send out a big thank you to the Rossys!!

  9. andrew April 15, 2013 at 6:59 am #

    Will there be more arrests? I am sure that there are more people involved. How could this go for such a long period, .I wonder how much was spent at the PP>

  10. Desert Tortoise April 15, 2013 at 5:08 am #

    Read up on the history of Victorville. Outside “independent” audits do not necessarily catch malfeasnce, and a few of the firms in that line of work are as much interested in providing customer municipalities what they want as opposed to a completely honest audit.

    On another front, ask how many businesses in your community have a current business license? I think you will find many do not as county and municipal governments as small as those on this side of the Sierra usually do not have the sort of internal controls to find the cheaters.

  11. Don April 14, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    This is an incredibly bad situation… Periodically the State of California audits various state programs and funding responsibilities it has delegated to counties. As a Department Supervisor, she may have been able to hide her actions for a time but I have only good things to say for the Inyo County employees who stepped up…
    Will Inyo County need to refund the State of California these funds?

  12. Cody April 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    Makes me wonder why the county auditor controller quickly jumped ship.

  13. BishopBeans April 14, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    Come on! Someone(s) at Inyo County needs to lose their job over this. This went on for years and no one caught it? Is anyone watching the county’s finances? Don’t they conduct audits? How do you lose $1.5 million?

    • Eastern Sierra Local April 15, 2013 at 7:53 am #

      Looks like one did for sure!

    • Mark April 15, 2013 at 8:20 am #

      When I had money embezzled from my business it was absolutely directly related to me not paying close enough attention.

      I’m sure this case is no different. I can only hope the sentence out weighs the crime.

    • Mark April 15, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      All County, State & Federal workers need random drug testing..

      • taya April 18, 2013 at 8:11 am #

        @ Mark .. agreed … and do like the city of LA did with their narco cops after some were found to be living way beyond their means of income require an annual audit of their finances…and make it a requirement in their application for the position..

  14. ferdinand lopez April 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    im not even sure what part of this makes me more angry

    • Curious April 14, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

      Didn’t you read Bureaucrat Beat?

  15. Trouble April 14, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Were her bosses blind?


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