Carlsbad woman accused of defrauding government

Posted at: 09/25/2013 6:39 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A Carlsbad woman is accused of lying on her federal aid applications to get money from the government.  it worked, until she got caught.  KOB Eyewitness News 4 found out it was her own Facebook post that landed her behind bars.    

State Police said Alicia Ortega got nearly $40,000 from the government by lying.

“It’s frustrating, there’s a lot of honest people out there, that are working hard and doing their part and for the people to try and cheat the system or short cut it," said Abel Marquez.

"I think that’s ridiculous because you know, there’s a lot of people that need that help," said Connie Franco.

Franco lives across the street from the home Ortega claimed to live at.  She also claimed to live at two other addresses. State Police said none of which was true.

According to the criminal complaint, the Officer of Inspector General started to become suspicious in 2011.  But it was a Facebook post on her husband’s Facebook that landed her behind bars.

She wrote, “I can’t believe it’s been 13 years.  I remember the day I got married like it was yesterday.  I love you Ramon.”

The reason, according to the report, on her federal aid applications, Ortega filed she was single.

State Police said Ortega lied on 15 applications for federal aid.  She did not mention her husband, who lived with her, or his income.

In total, State Police said Ortega received nearly $40,000, including $18,000 from Medicaid.

“What she did, I think that is ridiculous.  They should make her pay for what she did," said Franco.

“The government's got to do their part.  They’ve got to do their part to figure out who needs it and who's trying to cheat the system," said Marquez.

Ortega is charged with failing to disclose facts and making a false claim to obtain public assistance, both of which are felonies.  New Mexico State Police told KOB 4 if Ortega is found guilty, she most likely will have to pay back the money.