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Orange County

Couple Accused in Bad-Check Scheme

May 22, 2003

A La Habra couple have been charged with felony grand theft in connection with a scheme involving $12 million in bad checks written against 15 Orange County banks, authorities said.

Patrick Raniga Jr. and his wife, Roshni D. Raniga, each face seven counts of grand theft and seven counts of issuing checks with insufficient funds, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

The two surrendered in Superior Court in Santa Ana on Wednesday, pleaded not guilty to the charges and were taken briefly into custody before each posted bond for $100,000 bail.

The charges follow a two-year investigation into allegations that the Ranigas wrote 1,975 bad checks from 1998 to 2001.

A pretrial hearing on the matter is scheduled for June 19.

If convicted, the couple could face up to 16 years in state prison.

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