Oregon DHS employee charged with stealing $66K

Court records: Danielle A. Straw is accused of stealing a minimum of $66,000 from Oregon DHS

Danielle A. Straw, 29, shown in a jail booking photo, is accused of stealing a minimum of $66,000 from Oregon DHS.
Danielle A. Straw, 29, shown in a jail booking photo, is accused of stealing a minimum of $66,000 from Oregon DHS.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – An Oregon Department of Human Services employee is accused of stealing money from the state while misusing confidential information, court documents state.

Danielle A. Straw, who also goes by the name “Danielle Anna May Straw,” was indicted by a Multnomah County grand jury last week. She is charged with five counts of identity theft, one count of felony computer crime, six counts of theft by deception, five counts of first-degree theft, 12 counts of unlawfully obtaining public assistance and one count each of misuse of confidential information and first-degree official misconduct.

Court documents state that between July 1, 2009 and Nov. 28, 2014, Straw did “unlawfully and knowingly obtain and attempt to obtain public assistance for the benefit of herself.” Court documents show Straw is accused of stealing a minimum of $66,000 between May 2009 and December 2014. The named victim in the theft is the state’s Department of Human Services.

The specific nature of the alleged offenses has not been released. However, the indictment said Straw did “unlawfully, with intent to deceive and defraud, obtain, possess, transfer, create, utter and convert to (Straw’s) own personal identification” of another person.

Straw was arrested by Portland Police Tuesday and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center Straw was released on her own recognizance. She is scheduled to be arraigned in court Wednesday morning.

Straw’s father, Gregory, declined to comment when reached by phone Wednesday. Court records show that she is recently separated and had four children. Records also show that she has been living off of food stamps and cash assistance.

Gene Evans, a DHS spokesperson, said Strawn worked at DHS from June 15, 2011 to January 20, 2015, when she was terminated.

Her duties, according to Evans, would include:

  • reviewing applications for benefits submitted online;
  • schedule appropriate intake appointments for applications submitted;
  • conduct client interview and determine applicants eligibility for expedited Food Stamps and other state benefits;
  • screen forms for completeness; verify information given by applicants;
  • explains rules, regulations, procedures, applicant/recipient rights and responsibilities;
  • date stamps materials received and forward forms to appropriate branch worker;
  • issue Oregon Trail (EBT) cards and PINs to clients; and
  • other duties as assigned.

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