OROSI – A Tulare County man convicted of cashing checks that belonged to his elderly mother was sentenced to five years in state prison Thursday, said Assistant District Attorney Shani Jenkins.
Richard Anthony Romero, 49, of Orosi pleaded no contest to multiple counts, including commercial burglary, forgery, resisting arrest, being under the influence of a controlled substance and check fraud.
In addition to the jail sentence, Superior Court Judge James Hollman sentenced the man to pay restitution to his 72-year-old mother, as well as more than $1,000 in fines, Jenkins said.
Romero’s mother reported missing checks to Tulare County Sheriff’s Department officers shortly after her son moved in with her after he was released from a prior prison term. Several checks went missing and some were cashed at a local market without her permission.
Jenkins said the mother confronted Romero, who admitted taking the checks, apologized and promised not to do it again. However, more checks continued to be cashed, and a store clerk recalled Romero coming in to cash the checks.
An officer located Romero driving his car and attempted to pull him over. Romero sped away, running a stop sign. After being pursued, Romero did pull over but sped off again as officers approached the vehicle on foot. One officer had to get out of the way to avoid being hit by Romero’s car.
After a second pursuit, Romero pulled over and was arrested, Jenkins said.