A judge ruled Monday there is enough evidence to try a Santa Rosa man charged with conning people in schemes tied to professional sporting events, home electronics and a Mercedes-Benz, but said there is no proof the mother of his children was involved.
Judge Gary Medvigy dismissed the case against Tammy Fa'agata, 40, the former assistant coach of Cardinal Newman's softball team. The Rohnert Park woman cried and hugged a friend as she left the courtroom.
The judge found Aaron Averbuck, 44, could be tried on multiple counts of grand theft, driving on a suspended license and a count of burglary stemming from incidents over the past two years.
"I see classic fraud here," Medvigy said after a day-long preliminary hearing for the two defendants. "A flim-flam man."
If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison. Averbuck's lawyer indicated he would seek a pre-trial settlement. Earlier this year, prosecutors offered a plea bargain in which Averbuck would serve a year in county jail.
It was unclear if the offer was still on the table. Prosecutor Chris Brown said additional charges may be coming.
Averbuck remained free on bail.
Four witnesses, including a defense witness, testified about their dealings with the man police suspect is behind as many as 30 similar fraud cases.
Jennifer Diaz, a single mother, testified she had just lost her job when she ran into Averbuck, her neighbor, who made her a business proposition.
Averbuck told her he could get her and a niece jobs as hostesses at a Las Vegas boxing match last summer if they paid their $725 airfare upfront, she said.