Dawndee Rossy sentenced to 9 years, must pay over $1.5 million in restitution

Press release from Inyo County DA Thomas Hardy

Former Inyo County Health & Human Services Integrated Caseworker Supervisor Dawndee Rossy was sentenced today to nine years in prison to be served at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Dawndee Rossy

Ms. Rossy has been in custody at the Inyo County Jail since August 29, 2016, and will soon be transported to the reception center for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,543,785.24, plus an additional $272,491.00 for unpaid state income tax.

The sentencing followed a long legal process which began in January, 2013 when irregularities were discovered in a public assistance benefit case supervised by Ms. Rossy. Upon being interviewed by Bishop Police Department and District Attorney Investigators, Ms. Rossy admitted her involvement in diverting public assistance monies to her own use.

The complex investigation that followed revealed over thirty false or fraudulent welfare accounts created or reopened by Ms. Rossy. The evidence at trial showed that she developed a sophisticated plan whereby she acquired social security numbers and other identifying information for individuals living throughout the country and created public assistance benefit accounts on their behalf in Inyo County. The benefits were then placed on electronic benefit cards (similar to ATM or credit cards) which she then used to withdraw cash for her own benefit. Ms. Rossy forged and filed hundreds of false documents in the cases, creating a realistic looking “paper trail” justifying the benefit awards. None of the individuals whose identities were stolen were aware that their identifying information was being used improperly. Obviously forged documents were found in a search of her office, and she was recorded using electronic benefit cards issued to fraudulent cases at local financial institutions.

The trial in her case began in February, 2016 before the Honorable Philip Argento, who was assigned to the case by the California Judicial Council. Over the course of the multi-week non-jury trial, over 450 exhibits were admitted into evidence, and the court heard testimony from more than twenty witnesses. On August 15, 2016, Judge Argento found Ms. Rossy guilty of 88 separate felonies including grand theft, embezzlement, conspiracy to commit theft, misappropriation of public funds, forgery, identity theft, manufacture of deceptive identification documents, filing false documents in public records, and state income tax evasion. He also found to be “true” various enhancements regarding the amount of loss, and found that Ms. Rossy had misappropriated $1,543,785.24.

The investigation was coordinated by DA Investigator Stephanie Rennie and Bishop Police Officer Mark Gutierrez (now an Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputy). The tax fraud investigation was conducted by Special Agent Karen Lees of the California Franchise Tax Board. District Attorney Tom Hardy personally handled the trial proceedings.

Invaluable assistance was also provided by the Fiscal Services office of the County Department of Health and Human Services as well as current and former Health and Human Services Employment and Public Assistance staff.

 

 

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The facts
The facts
5 years ago

Disgusting!! . Her husband will get nothing just as she got nothing he is left free to tweek around on the town umongst our highly populated tweekers we have in bishop these days..

daisy mcdonald
daisy mcdonald
5 years ago

All I can say is maybe some one should of checked with the pauite palace casino have them return the 1.5 millon she and her daughters and husband stuck into the machines.

Shanna L DuRocher
Shanna L DuRocher
5 years ago

I believe I was one of her victims! I made several reports against her when I was trying to receive help from the state. I was told I didn’t qualify and after moving out of inyo County I applied for services and it showed that I had been on cash… Read more »

Karen
Karen
5 years ago

And what a corrupt county. It never ends.

Gg
Gg
5 years ago

Surprised at all she was caught and prosecuted in ol’ Inyo corrupt county.

Bonz
Bonz
5 years ago

Sounds like she got put on restriction instead of punished

Bonz
Bonz
5 years ago

It’s simply not enough, she should have gotten upward of 20. What is wrong with our judicial syastem.

Avid
Avid
5 years ago

Now lets see what her husband recieves..probably nothing since his brother is a cop

Maddawg
Maddawg
5 years ago

So you do what, half of your sentence? Which brings it to 4 and a half years which she’s done 8 months of, which makes a total of 3 years 10 months remaining so she will be out approximately by 2020-21? And she has to pay 1.5 plus in restitution??!!… Read more »

Curious
Curious
5 years ago

Interesting…. but is 9 years really enough ?

Trouble
Trouble
5 years ago

She’ll be out in 2021

Mono Person
Mono Person
5 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

You are right…