Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
ROOMMATES CHARGED WITH STEALING AND FORGING $285,000 CHECK AND SPENDING MONEY ON PRIVATE JET, HOTEL ROOMS, AND TIFFANY & CO. SHOPPING SPREE
*Defendants also accused of using stolen money to put deposit on $3.7 million home
WESTMINSTER – Two roommates have been charged with stealing a check from a Newport Beach law firm and changing the value to over $285,000 to spend on a private jet to New York, multiple hotel rooms, and a shopping spree at Tiffany & Co. and Montblanc for them and their friends. Alexa Johzen Polar, 34, and Robin Antonella Pabello, 33, both of Garden Grove, are each charged with two felony counts of forgery, one felony count of grand theft, and one felony count of grand theft by embezzlement. They face a sentencing enhancement for white collar crime over $100,000. If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum sentence of six years and four months in state prison. The People will be requesting Polar and Pabello be held on $285,000 bail each and the defendants must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bail. They are expected to be arraigned today, Monday, Dec. 12, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. at the West Justice Center in Westminster. The Department is to be determined.
At the time of the crime, Polar and Pabello were friends who lived together in Garden Grove. Polar worked as a paralegal for a Newport Beach law firm.
Between Sept. 21, 2011, and Nov. 16, 2011, Polar and Pabello are accused of stealing a check for over $19,500 made payable to law firm where Polar was employed. The defendants are accused of removing the payee’s name and the amount of the check and re-marking the check with Pabello’s name. They are accused of changing the check amount to over $285,000.
On Nov. 16, 2011, the defendants are accused of using an ATM to deposit the fraudulent check into a bank account jointly held by Pabello and Polar. They are accused of using the fraudulently obtained money to charter a private jet to fly themselves and several friends to New York City, rent five rooms at a hotel in Times Square, and purchase items from Tiffany & Co. and Montblanc.
Polar and Pabello are also accused of obtaining cashier checks in the amounts of $100,000 and $33,000 from the fraudulently obtained funds to lease and/or purchase a $3.7 million, 11,000 square foot house in Murietta, CA.
The theft was discovered after the issuing bank rejected the check that the receiving bank had processed. The Cypress Police Department investigated this case.
Deputy District Attorney Megan Wagner of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.