Tag Archives: bishop police

ROSSY SENTENCED

Dawndee Rossy sentenced to 9 years in State Prison

Posted by Seth Conners

    According to Inyo County District Attorney Tom 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.  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.

BISHOP CAR THEFT

Car stolen right off the repair line.

By Seth Conners

Photo courtesy of Bishop Police Department

On Friday night in Bishop, a blue Jeep Liberty was stolen from a local auto repair shop. A surveillance video captured the mans image as he stole the keys from inside the shops office.  Bishop Police were able to determine from the video that the suspect was a white male with dark hair, standing approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighing approximately 170 pounds.

After remaining at large for several days the suspect was captured and arrested in Lovelock Nevada.  The man was identified as 35 year old Michael Jason Ariola from New Hampshire.  There was some speculation within the community that this incident may have been linked to a recent burglary at High Country Market in Big Pine, but law enforcement does not believe that to be the case.

Friday nights theft was Bishops’ 2nd auto theft in less than a week.  A white Audi A4 was stolen on Christmas Eve.  The 2 incidents are not related.

Shop With a Cop

Fourth Annual Eastern Sierra Shop with a Cop

On Saturday, December 13, approximately 50 families from the Eastern Sierra had an early Christmas thanks to Shop-with-a-Cop. Children from the families were identified by local law enforcement and picked up by their partner for the day in a police vehicle and taken to breakfast at the Bishop Country Club. After a hearty breakfast, the law enforcement personnel and children slowly drove Code 3 from the golf course to the Bishop Country Club where each child had $220 to shop for Christmas gifts for family members. After the officers and their young partner finished shopping, volunteers wrapped the gifts, photos were taken with Santa, and they returned to their homes for an early family Christmas.

Many of these families would not have had much of a Christmas if it wasn’t for Shop-with-a-Cop. The idea for the program was introduced to the Eastern Sierra by MLPD Sergeant Rick Moberly four years ago. Other Eastern Sierra law enforcement agencies quickly jumped on board, and the program has gotten bigger each year. The participating agencies in 2014 were:

Mammoth Lakes Police Department
Mono County Sheriff’s Office
Bishop Police Department
Inyo County Sheriff’s Office
Mono County Probation Department
Inyo County Probation Department
Bishop Paiute Tribal Police
California Highway Patrol, Bridgeport Office
California Highway Patrol, Bishop Office
United States Forest Service Law Enforcement
California Department of Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Shop-with-a-Cop would not happen without the generous support of the community and the K-Mart in Bishop. Approximately $14,000 was raised through donations, mostly from individuals who heard about the program. More money than was needed was raised and the extra funds will be used for a new program, Shop-with-a-Cop–Back to School which will be held in August.

Special recognition must go to K-Mart and its manager, Oscar Saucedo. Each year they have gone above and beyond to support this cause. They provide an additional $20 gift card to each child, donate all the wrapping paper and bows, and provide space for the wrappers.
Shop-with-a-Cop organizer, Sergeant Rick Moberly, said, “I got the idea of Shop-with-a-Cop from San Diego PD, the second largest city in California. They hosted 320 kids this year. Our little agencies were able to take care of 50 families. I think that shows how much support we get from the people in the Eastern Sierra.”

MLPD Chief Dan Watson said, “I look forward to this each year. I asked one of our young Reserve Officers, while waiting for the gifts to be wrapped, what he thought of the program. His responded that this was about the best think he’d ever done. I believe the officers, deputies, and volunteers get as much enjoyment out of Shop-with-a-Cop as the kids and their families.”

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