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2nd suspect arrested in City of Manteca fraud case
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Detectives Steve Harris and Greg Beall arrested a second suspect in the City of Manteca check fraud case where $15,000 was allegedly stolen to pay the outstanding bills of others Maria Huerta, 40, is being led to a waiting patrol car from her work place Thursday afternoon in Mantecas Industrial Park. - photo by GLENN KAHL

A 40-year-old woman on a county alternative work program was arrested at her workplace Thursday afternoon in the Manteca Industrial Park for her alleged complicity in the recent fraud case where bills were being paid via the Internet using the City of Manteca’s check routing number.

Maria Huerta was the second woman to be taken into custody in the case that involved more than $15,000 in city funds that were funneled to the benefit of Marie Freitas, 39, of Manteca, police said.

Manteca Police officers added that Huerta reportedly had a previous embezzlement conviction from a past Tracy employer for $100,000.  She was on probation at the time of her arrest Thursday, police said.

Detective Greg Beall said that it is believed that Huerta had Freitas pay multiple bills for her including a Wells Fargo credit card.  Huerta and others reportedly paid Freitas a flat $100 in cash to have their outstanding charges paid.

Freitas was arrested October 6 at her home in the 1300 block of April Place.  Detective Steve Harris noted that one of her own debts that she paid with the city’s routing number was to the Stanislaus County Superior Court for fines totaling over $2,100.

Officers reported finding mail, checks and ID cards that had allegedly been stolen out of the Stockton area when they searched the Freitas home.

The case began to unfold the morning of Oct. 6 when DELTARAT auto theft task force officers made a traffic stop in Tracy that led to a probation search of a Tracy home.  That search led to the Freitas residence in Manteca, police said.

The detectives said that other arrests are imminent in the case.