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Randy Quaid and Wife Enter Not Guilty Plea to Fraud Charges

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By Kamika Dunlap on December 24, 2009 9:15 AM

Actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evi appeared in court and entered a not guilty plea to felony charges of defrauding an innkeeper.

The couple skipped previous court hearings without explanation and were wanted fugitives.

According to the Associated Press, the Quaids forfeited a total of $40,000 in bail when they failed to appear for a hearing last week. Warrants were issued for the their arrest after they failed to appear for a recent court hearing at a Santa Barbara courthouse.

The judge however allowed the $40,000 to stand as bail and freed the two defendants.

As previously discussed, the couple was arrested on Sept. 24 after being accused of using an invalid credit card to defraud an innkeeper at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito of more than $10,000.

The couple is accused of fraud charges, burglary, and conspiracy.

The Quaids' attorney, Robert Sanger, said the couple repaid the bill and hoped to resolve the case. The couple have maintained the hotel incident was simply a misunderstanding.

While the pair has felony charges against them, they could be lessened later.

The Quaids had failed to show up for three voluntary arraignment hearings in Santa Barbara County, and earlier warrants had been issued, which were recalled when the Quaids posted bond.

Randy Quaid, 58, the brother of actor Dennis Quaid, is a former cast member on "Saturday Night Live." His big-screen credits include the "National Lampoon Vacation"and "Brokeback Mountain."

The purpose of a court appearance is to ensure that the defendant is informed of the charges and made aware of his or her rights. It is also an opportunity for the defendant to end the proceedings quickly if the defendant chooses to plead guilty.

Another hearing was set for March 1.