Crime - Sacto 911

Woman accused of feigning suicide to avoid prison sentenced to additional year

A Sacramento woman who authorities say feigned suicide in an effort to avoid going to prison for mortgage fraud now faces an additional sentence.

Maria Santa, 41, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Sacramento to one year and one day in prison for failing to surrender to serve her previous sentence. U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller ordered the additional sentence to be served following the original sentence, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

Santa was previously sentenced to 20 months in prison for mortgage fraud and was ordered to begin serving the sentence in February 2014. When her motion for bail pending appeal was denied, she fled the area, leaving a note at her residence that made it appear she had committed suicide, according to the news release.

Maria Santa was arrested in Sacramento on Aug. 26, 2016. At the time, she was a passenger in a vehicle driven by her husband, Virgil Santa, the news release said.

Virgil Santa has been charged with harboring a fugitive.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy