County employee accused in FoodShare scam due in court

MILWAUKEE -- 47-year-old Rosa Ordonez of Milwaukee will stand trial Tuesday, April 17 on charges she stole thousands of dollars from taxpayers. Ordonez is facing two felony charges involving a FoodShare scam.

Ordonez is the latest defendant in a food stamp fraud ring – joining four other county employees accused of stealing from the state.

Ordonez has been charged with Theft by Fraud – Value Exceeding $10,000 and Food Stamp Fraud – Greater than $5,000.

Ordonez was an economic support specialist for the FoodShare Wisconsin Program initially as a county employee, and later as a state employee after the program was transferred to state administration in 2010.

Officials say the fraud occurred from 2008 – 2011.

Sheriff’s officials investigated the fraudulent FoodShare Wisconsin accounts allegedly created by Ordonez in the names of her ex-boyfriend, three brothers and adult daughter living out of state. The complaint in the case indicates Ordonez listed false dependents on the accounts to increase the benefits, and allegedly used said benefits for herself.

The investigation showed Ordonez began defrauding the program in 2008 after the flood disaster in Milwaukee when she and several of her co-workers saw how easy it was to obtain disaster benefits. The co-workers assisted each other in issuing the fraudulent benefits.

Ordonez told police financial difficulties led to the fraud. Court records show she has nearly a dozen money judgements against her dating back to 1994, totaling around $16,000.

If convicted on both counts, Ordonez faces up to 20 years in prison.