SANTA ANA, Calif. – An Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA) employee was charged with welfare fraud and perjury for failing to report income when applying for welfare benefits. Adrienne Reyes, 38, Brea, was charged yesterday, Jan. 19, 2017, with two felony counts of perjury by false application for aid and two misdemeanor counts of aid by misrepresentation. If convicted, she faces a maximum of six years and four months in county jail. Reyes is scheduled to be arraigned on March 10, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At the time of the crime, Reyes was on medical leave while employed as a clerical staff member at the OCDA.
Between Nov. 1, 2014, and March 31, 2016, Reyes is accused of receiving overpayment by failing to report catastrophic leave donations she received from the OCDA to the Orange County Social Service Agency (SSA). Catastrophic leave donations are made by OCDA employees from their own accrued vacation and sick hours to fellow employees who have exhausted their leave due to serious illness. The defendant is accused of failing to report additional private disability payments she was receiving from the Standard Insurance Company through a policy paid for by the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA). In March 2016, Reyes is accused of reporting to SSA that she received a $7,000 tax return check and requested to stop welfare payments. The defendant is accused of continuing to request food stamps during this time.
In May 2016, Reyes is accused of reapplying for cash aid welfare benefits under penalty of perjury through SSA. Between May 4, 2016, and Aug. 31, 2016, the defendant is accused of continuing to fail to report catastrophic leave donations and private disability income causing an overpayment in benefits. Reyes received $16,833 in cash aid and $9,604 in food stamps that she was not entitled to due to her omission.
SSA discovered the fraud and reported it to the OCDA Welfare Fraud Unit, in accordance with County of Orange protocol. Pursuant to the OCDA protocol, and since the suspect is an employee of the OCDA, contact was made with the California Attorney General's Office (AG) to determine if there is any conflict that would prohibit the OCDA from handling the case. The AG decided that the OCDA should proceed with the investigation and prosecution of this case.
Deputy District Attorney Nikki Chambers of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 17CF0136 / January 20, 2017