SANTA ANA — A reputed gang member jailed on an attempted murder charge was bailed out when someone posted $500,000 in counterfeit cashier’s checks, sheriff’s officials said Monday.
Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo said Dominic Peter Rizzo, 33, left the Orange County Jail on July 17 after the phony checks were presented to a jail cashier.
“It only became clear after the checks went to the bank that there was nothing of value standing behind them,” Jaramillo said, adding a warrant has been issued for Rizzo’s arrest. If captured, he’ll be held on $2 million bail this time.
Rizzo, believed to be a member of the skinhead prison gang Public Enemy Number One, was one of three people arrested for an April 1999 knife attack. Authorities say a man who was once Rizzo’s friend was stabbed in the chest, abdomen and arms but recovered.
Although the prison gang has a reputation for counterfeiting, authorities say this is the first case they know of in which phony cashier’s checks were used to make bail. They are trying to determine who posted the bail.
Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Department will no longer accept cashier’s checks until they have been verified by a bank.