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Man suspected of bigamy and grand theft to be arraigned

April 2, 2009 |  1:01 pm

A former Rancho Santa Margarita man who is currently serving a sentence for embezzling $147,000 from his employer is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Santa Ana on charges that he married two women without either's knowledge and then stole from them, authorities said today.

Craig Stevens, 49, was sentenced to one year and four months in state prison in October 2008 for stealing $147,000 from his Costa Mesa employer. He is accused of marrying an Illinois resident in August 2007, without his first wife's knowledge, and then using his relationship with each woman to get money.

Authorities said he had been married to his first wife, who is from Orange County, for more than a decade. Prosecutors accuse Stevens of convincing his first wife to use her property inheritance to foot the bill for the $147,000 restitution he was ordered to pay because of the October 2008 court case.

He also allegedly convinced his second wife to give him $47,000 when he told her that he needed it for his daughter's tuition, according to a news release from the Orange County district attorney's office.

Authorities said he does not have a daughter who is attending college.

 Stevens, who is being held without bail, is charged with one felony count each of bigamy, "rape by belief perpetrator is spouse, grand theft by false pretense, grand theft," according to the news release. He also faces sentencing enhancements for aggravated white-collar crime and financial loss over $200,000, according to the release.

 -- Ari B. Bloomekatz