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Essapour serving sentence
Serena Essapour, the Turlock woman who charged thousands of dollars in jewelry and clothing to credit cards she opened fraudulently with Supervisor Jim DeMartini's personal information, has a new accessory to add to her collection - an ankle monitoring bracelet.

Essapour, 23, pled no contest in July to felony false impersonation, felony misuse of personal identifying information, and felony grand theft. The charges stemmed from allegations that Essapour used DeMartini's Social Security number to open up credit card accounts and charge close to $10,000 in a month's time span.

She was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years probation. Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department spokesman Deputy Royjindar Singh said Essapour surrendered herself on Monday and was granted home detention. He said Essapour will have to wear the ankle monitoring bracelet for at least two-thirds of her sentence and that she is only allowed to leave the house for one hour per week to do any personal errands, like grocery shopping or a doctor's appointment. The time and place have to be pre-approved by the correctional facility.

Under the home detention program Essapour is subject to random visits by the monitoring officials. An unauthorized excursion from her house will sound an alarm, Singh said.

Users of the program have to pay for the service, which could range from $30 to $50 a day, Singh said.

After her sentence is completed Essapour will be on probation for three years. As part of her probation she is searchable for stolen property and is not allowed to leave Stanislaus County for more than 48 hours without prior approval. A violation could send her to prison. She also waived her right to appeal the sentencing.

The complaint against Essapour alleged that she used a car loan application that DeMartini co-signed to obtain his personal information and that with that information in hand, she opened up two credit card accounts via online applications under his name with herself as an authorized user. A majority of the transactions on the two credit cards were for businesses in Turlock, including coffee shops, convenience stores, and restaurants. Other charges were for jewelry, including a $1,700 Movado watch, clothing, and cash advances.

DeMartini said he loaned Essapour $6,500 to use as a down payment for a new car and acted as her co-signer for the remaining $21,600. During a pre-trial hearing DeMartini denied any romantic relationship between himself and Essapour. He classified the relationship between himself and Essapour as a friendship to acquaintance and that the two knew each other through the local Republican party.