Former congressional candidate accused of stealing a Mercedes, writing bad checks and defrauding hotels
A onetime congressional candidate accused of defrauding Orange County hotels, intentionally writing bad checks and stealing an expensive luxury car from a local dealership is scheduled to go on trial Monday, prosecutors said today.
Delecia Holt, 48, is charged with nine felony counts for offenses spanning three years and amounting to more than $55,000, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney’s office. The allegations include grand theft, unlawfully taking a vehicle and defrauding an innkeeper and a telephone company. She also faces charges of lying about her income status to fraudulently acquire goods and gain financial assistance.
Holt ran as a write-in candidate for the 47th Congressional District in Orange County in 2005. She was a candidate for the 53rd Congressional District in San Diego the following year. Her trial is expected to start Monday at Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana.
According to prosecutors, Holt went to an Orange County Mercedes Benz dealership in 2005 and wrote a bad check for just under $13,000. The amount was supposed to be a down payment for a $32,000 car. Holt never made any legitimate payments for the car and there were insufficient funds in her account to cover the down payment, prosecutors said.
From July to September 2007, Holt wrote three separate checks totaling $5,000 to the Comfort Suites in Lake Forest, where she allegedly lived for three months, prosecutors said. The checks all bounced, and Holt fled the hotel after failing to make any legitimate payments for her bill, they said.
Holt also allegedly committed perjury by intentionally deceiving the Orange County Social Services Agency when she lied on a welfare document in August 2007 and failed to disclose that she had received income in the form of child support, prosecutors said.
She is accused of committing welfare fraud by accepting about $900 in welfare funds for which she was ineligible.
“She misrepresented her status and fraudulently received financial aid as a result of that,” Emami said.
Holt’s indiscretions continued in October 2007, according to prosecutors, when she allegedly hosted a comedy night fundraiser at a Dana Point hotel under the pretense of raising money for Habitat for Humanity. The event failed to raise any money.
Holt is accused of writing a check for $15,000 to the hotel from a personal account to cover the cost of the event, even though she knew her account had insufficient funds. She also allegedly wrote bad checks totaling $2,000 to the four comedians and failed to pay a photographer and videographer for the fundraiser.
Prosecutors claim Holt opened multiple phone accounts through Sprint from December 2007 to November 2008 but failed to make payments on more than $5,400 in bills.
Holt also wrote a $3,000 check to Regal Entertainment Group in 2008 as payment for advertisements in movie theaters, but the check was declined due to insufficient funds, prosecutors said.
If convicted on all counts, Holt faces a maximum of 11 years and eight months in state prison.-- Ann M. Simmons