Real estate theft, forgery case goes to public defender

local@modbee.comJuly 23, 2012 

A real estate agent accused of swindling a Newman family was not able to hire a private attorney to defend her in her second trial.

Instead, Erica Burdg, 61, of Modesto will be represented by Donnell Snipes, a deputy public defender, when her scheduled trial starts Dec. 4 in Stanislaus County Superior Court.

Burdg has been charged with grand theft, forgery and attempted perjury. The defendant is accused of taking money from Carlos Gonzales' family, which believed it was buying a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Newman.

Burdg has testified that Gonzales' bad credit and lack of employment collapsed the deal to buy the home. The defendant said she instead talked her husband into buying the house as an investment and that they rented the house to Gonzales' family.

Burdg's first trial ended with a hung jury in August. She had planned to hire defense attorney Frank Carson to represent her in the second trial. Burdg appeared briefly in court Monday, and Judge Linda McFadden scheduled her to return Sept. 10 for a pretrial hearing.

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