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Friends’ spending spree in New York buys trouble

They may have wanted breakfast at Tiffany’s, but Orange County prosecutors say a Garden Grove paralegal and Cypress elementary school teacher stole the money for their spending spree in New York City.

The roommates, Alexa Johzen Polar, 34, and Robin Antonella Pabello, 33, both of Garden Grove, are charged with forging a $285,000 check from the law firm where Polar works and using it to charter a private jet. They flew their friends to New York City, rented five rooms at a hotel overlooking Times Square and went on a shopping spree at Tiffany and Co. and Montblanc, authorities said.

They also put down a $233,000 deposit on a $3.7-million house in Murrieta — paid for with two fraudulently obtained cashier’s checks, prosecutors said.

Cypress Police Det. Greg Faessel said investigators believe the women wanted to rent the 11,000-square-foot Murrieta mansion during the escrow process and “live like kings during the holidays.”

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“These women were already deep in debt and wanted to enjoy life without any cares for a while,” Faessel said.

But it didn’t last. Authorities say they caught on to the scam while they were still in New York City, and their account was frozen.

They had to fly coach back to Los Angeles, Faessel said.

andrew.blankstein@latimes.com


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