Ex-Fresno Co. employee accused of stealing nearly $100k in EBT benefits

Desiree Ortiz could spend nearly a decade behind bars if convicted.

A former employee of Fresno County is facing criminal charges for stealing California EBT benefits. 

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday that it has filed charges against Desiree Henriette Ortiz, 40. 


The big picture: Ortiz, a former employee of the Fresno County Department of Social Services, allegedly used her access to EBT recipient information to steal funds from their accounts. 

  • She also allegedly used the information that she had stolen to change the passwords to the accounts and then used those funds for her own personal benefit. 
  • The Department of Social Services estimates that the total amount of loss was over $97,000. 
  • The investigation into Ortiz started after an internal audit was conducted by the Fresno County Department of Social Services. 
  • Ortiz is charged with one count of computer access and fraud, 12 counts of identity theft and one count of identity theft possession of information with intent to defraud. 

What we’re watching: Ortiz faces a maximum of 11 years and eight months in local custody if convicted. 

  • She will appear in court on July 10 to be arraigned.
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