Monday, 09 July 2012 16:28

Watsonville Shop Owner Due Back in Court

The Santa Cruz Sentinel has reported that the owner of an auto body shop who prosecutors say bilked clients is due back in court on July 31 to set a preliminary hearing date.

Martin Calvario Moya, 48, was charged last month with several charges including forging documents, making false insurance claims and failure to have required workers' compensation insurance coverage for his employees.

Moya is the owner of Moya Auto Body Shop in Watsonville. The District Attorney's Office filed the charges after an undercover investigation that began earlier this year, conducted by representatives from the California Bureau of Auto Repair, the Santa Cruz County Auto Theft Unit and the DA's Investigations Bureau. The investigation was prompted by complaints from customers.

Moya is also charged with violating the terms of his probation. In April, he pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of check forgery and was placed on three years of probation. He was also ordered to serve 90 days in County Jail. That charge stemmed from a case involving his wife, Elena Moya, who pleaded no contest to felony grand theft by embezzlement. Prosecutors said that while working at the nonprofit organization Community Bridges, she embezzled thousands of dollars by taking checks from the organization and either cashing them herself or giving the checks to others to cash, including her husband.

Moya has pleaded not guilty to the current charges and is being represented by Salinas-based defense attorney Brian Worthington. He's currently being held in County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.