By Anna Olsen
ALAMEDA, CA – Defendant Maira Ortega pled no contest to a felony charge of fraudulent possession of personal identifying information with the intent to defraud in a preliminary hearing in Alameda County Superior Court the morning of Jan. 25.
Ortega was arrested on Dec. 17 and charged with fraudulent possession of personal information. Her cellphone contained numerous entries of personal identifying information of multiple victims.
She was arrested again on Dec. 22 and charged with a separate possession of burglar’s tools and prohibited possession of ammunition.
DDA Sun Seo filed to dismiss the charges against Ortega with a hard waiver and required the defendant to forfeit all seized items associated with that arrest.
Those terms would be added to the probation if Ortega pled no contest, and restitution would be transferred.
Judge Barbara Dickinson provided no further details of the crime.
If found guilty, Ortega will face a sentence of two years of felony probation, be required to spend 150 days in county jail, and be subject to a four-way search clause.
She will be required to stay away from all named victims listed in the complaint, forfeit all seized items and submit a DNA sample.
The defendant may not own, use or possess any personal identifying information belonging to anyone else. Restitution will be reserved. The defendant will be required to pay a fine minimum of $300 and a maximum of $10,000 to the victim restitution fund.
Defense counsel Michael Wilson clarified that the need to submit all “seized items” did not include a necklace belonging to Ortega seized during her arrest and requested that this necklace be returned to the defendant.
“That is something I will not object to if you submit a request to the police department,” Seo responded.
At the end of the hearing, Seo brought up the fact that defendant Ortega had committed the same conduct in the past and that “if there was a violation, I believe there is a good basis for the defendant to potentially receive high term.”
As clarified by Dickinson, the high term refers to the maximum sentence.
Ortega’s sentencing date is scheduled for Feb. 14 at 8:30 a.m.