A twice-failed congressional candidate was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of defrauding south Orange County businesses of $55,000 in an alleged crime spree that authorities say began in 2005 when she drove away in a luxury car after giving the dealer a bad check.
Delecia Holt, 46, also is accused of committing welfare fraud; officials are trying to determine how much may have been stolen, the Orange County district attorney's office said.
Holt, whose most recent address is in Aliso Viejo, was a Republican write-in candidate for the 48th Congressional District in Orange County in a special primary election in 2005; the seat became vacant when Rep. Christopher Cox was named chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
She ran again as a GOP candidate in 2006 in the 53rd Congressional District in San Diego County.
According to the district attorney's office, Holt wrote a check for about $13,000 as a down payment on a $32,000 Mercedes-Benz in July 2005. Authorities say the check bounced and that she never made a payment for the car.
Holt also is accused of skipping out on a Lake Forest hotel after accumulating a $5,000 bill between July and September 2007.
In October 2007, she allegedly was the host of a comedy night fundraiser at a Dana Point hotel, claiming the money was for Habitat for Humanity.
But no money was raised, prosecutors said, and Holt is accused of defrauding the hotel of $15,000 and four comedians of $2,000.
Authorities said the checks she wrote to the hotels and comedians bounced.
Prosecutors have requested $55,000 bail and want proof that the money comes from a legitimate source before Holt is released.