lady justice 2 16-9

A 49-year-old Newport Beach man, who has been in and out of prison over the past 20 years for fraud-related convictions, pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of kiting several checks totaling about $100,000.

Richard Scott Bloustine was arrested Wednesday in Newport Beach on a warrant he had  allegedly been ducking, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche.

Bloustine racked up an $80,000 bill at a dentist’s office in Newport Beach from Nov. 10 to Dec. 13 last year and wrote a bad check for $72,000, Labreche alleged.

On Nov. 13, Bloustine allegedly kited a check for $32,000 as he tried to lease a home in Newport Beach, Labreche said. He then allegedly wrote another bad check — this time for $13,000 — for furniture in the home, the prosecutor alleged.

Bloustine also is accused of writing a $15,000 bad check in December as a down-payment for a Mercedes-Benz at a Laguna Beach dealership, Labreche said.

“It would appear he has no legitimate source of income and had hardly any income in his bank account,” the prosecutor said.

He said investigators suspect there may be more alleged victims and encouraged them to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Damon Tucker at (714) 648-3667.

In 1996, Bloustine was convicted of credit card fraud in Hawaii, Labreche said, and three years later was found guilty of a fraud scheme in Arizona.

In 2004, he was convicted of grand theft, and in 2008, he was convicted again of grand theft and credit card fraud, Labreche said. Both cases were in Santa Barbara County, he said.

Bloustine could face up to 14 years in prison if convicted of three counts of grand theft, six counts of writing bad checks and one count of unlawful taking of a vehicle, with sentence-enhancement allegations for aggravated white collar crime exceeding $100,000, property damage or loss above $65,000, and for prior felony convictions, Labreche said.

—Staff and wire reports

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