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NEWS IN BRIEF: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Official Business / Courts and Government

Fraud Trial Ordered for Ex-Welfare Worker

October 02, 1998

A judge ordered a former Los Angeles County welfare worker Tuesday to stand trial on embezzlement, theft, forgery and fraud charges, saying there was enough evidence to indicate she took thousands of dollars in public money paid to fake welfare clients.

At a preliminary hearing, prosecutors alleged that Jennifer Castillo stole more than $700,000 in welfare money while screening welfare applicants as part of her work for the county Department of Public Social Services.

Castillo's lawyer said there was not enough evidence to link Castillo to any crimes. But after hearing from welfare fraud investigators and Castillo's own boss, Superior Court Judge Patti Jo McKay ordered Castillo to stand trial. The judge continued her bail at $565,000 until her Oct. 15 arraignment.

Castillo, 41, of Van Nuys, resigned from her county job the day investigators went to her desk to seize records. On Tuesday, investigators said Castillo admitted under questioning that she steered at least $30,000 in welfare funds to fraudulent accounts.

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