|For Immediate Release
Case # 11WF2878
May 10, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
ROOMMATES CONVICTED OF STEALING AND FORGING $285,000 CHECK AND SPENDING MONEY ON PRIVATE JET, HOTEL ROOMS, AND TIFFANY & CO. SHOPPING SPREE
WESTMINSTER – Two roommates were convicted and sentenced today for 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 Antonella Polar, 35, Garden Grove, pleaded guilty to one felony count of forgery, and Robin Johzen Pabello, 34, Garden Grove, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of forgery and a sentencing enhancement for white collar crime over $100,000. The defendants each were sentenced to three years of formal probation and 305 days in Orange County Jail with credit for time served. Restitution was paid back in full.
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 stole a check worth over $19,500 made payable to the law firm where Polar was employed. The defendants removed the payee’s name and replaced it with Pabello’s name. They changed the check amount to over $285,000.
On Nov. 16, 2011, the defendants used an ATM to deposit the fraudulent check into a bank account jointly held by Pabello and Polar. They used 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 also obtained cashier’s checks in the amounts of $33,000 and $100,000 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. Prior to pleading guilty, the defendants paid full restitution of over $42,000 to the receiving bank. The Cypress Police Department investigated this case.
Deputy District Attorney Megan Wagner of the Major Fraud Unit prosecuted this case.