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News from the D.A.

District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced that former Ventura County Human Services Agency (HSA) employee Ana Maria Castro, of Oxnard, was sentenced to four years in state prison for misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement of public funds, public benefits fraud, and filing false or forged documents. She was also ordered to pay $252,903 in restitution to HSA. The sentence was imposed by Superior Court Judge Ryan J. Wright.

Castro was employed by HSA for 10 years as a client benefits specialist. She used her position to appropriate CalFresh (food stamps) and cash aid benefits from two inactive clients, and also created an account for a nonexistent family, adding numerous nonexistent household members to each account to maximize the illegal benefits she received. Additionally, Castro provided CalFresh cards to two relatives, who also illegally appropriated benefits. Castro’s sentencing follows her guilty plea on April 24, 2014.

Castro’s thefts defrauded not only her employer, but stole money paid by taxpayers intended to help our most vulnerable residents meet basic needs.

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