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By Casey Christie / The Californian
BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
A local Realtor and former “Sizzlin’ Single” charged with six felonies in connection with allegedly renting out vacant properties she didn’t represent will remain in jail until proving her bail money is coming from noncriminal sources.
Jessica Arranaga, 28, made her first court appearance Friday, during which defense attorney David A. Torres entered not guilty pleas on her behalf. She remains in custody on $150,000 bail, with her next hearing scheduled for Aug. 7.
Arranaga and Ricky Segura Jr. are both charged with three counts of obtaining money under false pretenses and two counts of conspiracy. Arranaga is also charged with one count of forgery.
Segura posted bail and did not attend Arranaga’s arraignment. The date of his own arraignment has not yet been scheduled.
Deputy District Attorney Gordon Isen is prosecuting the case.
Court filings say Arranaga and Segura obtained keys to three vacant properties — the 2700 block of Crestline Road, 11200 block of Vista Del Christo Drive and the 4600 block of Rushmore Drive — and rented them out beginning in 2011. Arranaga didn’t legally represent any of the properties, and none of them was being offered for rent by the actual owners.
Arranaga works at Alliance Investments Real Estate on Panama Lane. An Alliance news release Friday said the company was aware of the allegations against her.
“The incident in which Ms. Arranaga is alleged to be involved in occurred during a time in which she was not employed nor contracted by Alliance Investments Real Estate,” the news release stated.
It goes on to say the company will not answer questions. Neither does it give any indication whether Arranaga is still employed there.
Arranaga was featured as one of Bakersfield Magazine’s 2010 “Sizzlin’ Singles,” answering questions regarding her celebrity dream date (Leonardo DiCaprio), hidden talent (great cook, but she hates cleaning afterward) and her theme song (“I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack).
Asked what she should throw away, but can’t, she answered, “My comfy heels. I used to show houses.”
She indicated she tries to stay clear of devious men, responding she always Googles a potential date before going out with him.
“Yes, a girl should always take the proper precautions,” she said, according to the magazine.
The court filings indicate Arranaga fraudulently received more than $10,000 from the tenants. She split the money with Segura, whose role was to intimidate tenants into paying more money than they’d originally agreed to pay.
In one instance, Segura brandished the grip of a handgun at a man who demanded his money back after realizing he’d been duped, according to the filings. Another time Segura and three men showed up at one of the properties and demanded the tenants pay an extra $1,500.
One of the men with Segura threatened one of the tenants, the filings say.
Segura also showed up at one of the properties rented by a married couple and pounded on the door, demanding they let him in and give him more money. The court filings say they refused. They were called later by a man who warned he had a gun and demanded they meet him.