Orange County District Attorney Charges La Habra Couple With Grand Theft In Bad Check Writing Scheme

For Immediate Release
May 21st, 2003
Contact: Michelle Emard
Media Relations Director
(714) 347-8405 (O)
(714) 359-2239 (P)
(714) 323-4486 (C)

Orange County District Attorney Charges La Habra Couple With Grand Theft In Bad Check Writing Scheme

SANTA ANA – May 21, 2003 – The Office of the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) has filed felony grand theft charges against a La Habra couple for a bad check-writing scheme involving fifteen (15) Orange County banks, twenty-three different bank accounts and $12 million dollars.

Patrick Raniga, Jr. and his wife Roshni D. Raniga are each facing seven (7) counts of grand theft and seven (7) counts of issuing checks with insufficient funds.  The charges include an Aggravated White Collar Crime Enhancement.

The crimes took place between December 31, 1998 and June 29, 2001.  During that period of time, the defendants are charged with writing 1,975 checks against bank accounts with insufficient funds.  More than 20,000 illegal transactions are alleged.

The arrests follow a two-year investigation.  The defendants surrendered themselves in court this morning without incident for their arraignment in Department N7 at the North Justice Center in Fullerton.  Judge Roger Robbins presided.

The Ranigas pled not guilty to all charges and were taken into custody on $100,000 bail each.  Both posted bonds and were released.  A hearing is set for Friday, May 23, 2003 in Department N7 to determine the source of funds used for the bail.

A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for June 19, 2003 at 8:30 a.m. in Department N7.  The defendants face a maximum of sixteen (16) years in state prison as charged.  The prosecutor assigned to this case is Senior Deputy District Attorney Bill Overtoom of the Economic Crimes Unit.