A former congressional candidate was sentenced Tuesday to six years and eight months in state prison after admitting she violated probation by committing identity theft.
Delecia Holt, 49, formerly of Aliso Viejo, was originally sentenced in January 2010 to nearly two years in jail and five years of probation. She was also ordered to pay more than $40,700 in restitution for defrauding the Comfort Suites in Lake Forest and stealing a Mercedes-Benz from a local car dealership.
While in jail, Holt prepared a federal tax return on behalf of an escrow company, and later pilfered the company's identity. While on probation, she also opened multiple bank accounts in violation of her probation orders, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
Her legal problems date back to 2005—the same year she ran as a write-in candidate for the 47th Congressional District in Orange County.
According to prosecutors, in July 2005, she went to a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Orange County, wrote a check for just under $13,000 as a down payment on a $32,000 car and drove off in the vehicle. She never made any legitimate payments for the car and the $13,000 check bounced.
The following year, Holt was a candidate for the 53rd Congressional District in San Diego.
In July 2007, Holt took up residence in the Comfort Suites in Lake Forest. She fled without paying a $5,000 tab in September, leaving behind two bad checks, obstensibly to cover her bill.
That October, Holt hosted a comedy night fundraiser at a Dana Point hotel, saying she was raising money for Habitat for Humanity. When the event flopped, she wrote more bad checks—one for $15,000 to the hotel, another for $2,000 for the four comedians.
According to the DA's office, Holt bounced 90 checks in an 18-month period from one bank account and 18 from another account.
During her trial, Holt testified she was unable to cover the checks because of costs associated with deaths and illnesses in her family. It was the first time investigators had heard of those hardships despite having previously interviewed her about this case.
In December 2009, she was found guilty of seven felony counts of writing bad checks, one felony count of grand theft and a felony charge of defrauding an innkeeper by nonpayment.