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Press Release

Sacramento Woman Charged with Failure to Appear for Sentencing

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California
Husband Charged with Harboring a Fugitive

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento couple arraigned today for a grand jury indictment charging Maria Santa, 41, with failing to surrender for service of sentence and obstruction of justice, and charging Virgil Santa, 43, with harboring a fugitive, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. 

According to court documents, Maria Santa was previously sentenced to 20 months in prison for mortgage fraud and was ordered to begin serving her sentence in February 2014. When her motion for bail pending appeal was denied, she fled the jurisdiction and left a note at her residence that made it appear that she had committed suicide. On August 26, 2016, Maria Santa was arrested in Sacramento as a passenger in a vehicle her husband Virgil Santa was driving.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jared C. Dolan is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Maria Santa and Virgil Santa face a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine as to each count. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated September 13, 2016

Press Release Number: 2:16-cr-171-KJM