Man charged with stealing from 2 wives

SANTA ANA, Calif. /*Craig Stevens*/, 49, is accused of having two wives, one of whom he met online. He allegedly stole from both women.

Stevens hid behind court documents during his Santa Ana court appearance on Friday. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of bigamy and grand theft.

"This defendant was married to a woman in Orange County. And without her knowledge, he married another woman who was living out in Illinois. So two women didn't know about each other. And he was basically living a double life," said Farrah Emami, /*Orange County District Attorney's Office*/.

Stevens is already a convicted felon. The new charges are connected. The D.A. says after he went to jail, the details started to come to light. The story goes back to his first wife, who is only identified as "Ann S."

"His first wife, who was his legal wife, gave him $147,000, which she took out of a property inheritance, to help him pay off restitution in a totally unrelated criminal case," said Emami.

In that criminal case, Stevens pleaded guilty to embezzling $147,000 from his employer, a Costa Mesa tennis apparel company called Balle De Match.

Prosecutors say Stevens met his second wife "Elizabeth D." online and married her in August 2007.

Stevens allegedly convinced Elizabeth D. to give him $47,000 to pay for his daughter's college tuition. However, Stevens doesn't have a college-age daughter.

"Mr. Stevens is facing several felony counts, including bigamy, grand theft, rape by belief that the defendant is a spouse, and other white-collar crime enhancements. So if he is convicted on all of the charges, he faces 11 years and four months maximum in state prison," said Emami.

Stevens is being held without bail and will be back in court on April 7.


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