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Twins court judge's wrath

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. -- A pair of twins who tried to dupe a judge in a larceny case have doubled the trouble they face.

Yamahile Ortiz pleaded guilty to using a stolen credit card and was sentenced by New Britain Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Clifford to probation.

Soon after, the public defender came before Clifford with Yamahile, 18, and her twin sister, Yaricza. Yamahile Ortiz had a simple explanation why her sister stood in for her at a hearing. ''I had a final today," she said.

Clifford called the action a ''fraud on the court," The Hartford Courant reported yesterday, quoting a court transcript of the hearing Tuesday.

Clifford withdrew the earlier plea and increased Yamahile Ortiz's bail to $50,000.

When Yaricza Ortiz, using an obscenity, complained to her sister about helping to raise money for bail, Clifford raised Yamahile Ortiz's bail to $250,000 and ordered her taken into custody.

Yaricza Ortiz is on probation and her actions could land her back in jail, Clifford said.

Police accused the Ortiz sisters and a friend, Jessica Jankowski, of charging more than $1,000 on a stolen credit card in February.

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