Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
WOMAN CONVICTED OF STEALING $300,000 FROM COUNTY BY ISSUING FRAUDULENT CHECKS ON BEHALF OF WELFARE PARTICIPANTS
SANTA ANA – An employee of a contracted agency for the County of Orange Social Services Agency (OCSSA) was convicted today of stealing more than $300,000 from the County by taking money from Welfare-to-Work participants and writing fraudulent checks with taxpayer funds. Elizabeth Gonzalez, 32,
Arbor Education and Training (Arbor) is an independent company contracted to provide California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) services for OCSSA. The CalWORKs “Welfare-to-Work” program is funded by various government entities. Arbor employees receive participant referrals from Social Services Workers assigned to the CalWORKs program, and meet with the participants to prepare documentation, including checks, to support the participant’s self-sufficiency needs. Arbor assists participants by providing financial assistance for housing, basic needs, professional clothing, domestic abuse services, life and workplace skills, transportation, and support services. These checks are provided as a once-in-a-lifetime, $1,500 maximum allowance and are made payable to property management companies, apartment complexes, and commercial businesses on behalf of the qualified participants.
From January 18, 2005 to August 17, 2007, Gonzalez, a supervisor for Arbor, met participants while they were receiving Welfare-to-Work program services at the Arbor office on
Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Economic Crimes Unit prosecuted this case.