Garden Grove residents Alexa Polar, 34, and Robin Pabello, 33, have been charged with two felony counts of forgery, a felony count of grand theft and a felony count of grand theft by embezzlement, with a sentencing enhancement of white-collar crime over $100,000.
Polar worked as a paralegal at a Newport Beach law firm. Polar and Pabello are accused of stealing a check made out to the law firm between September and November. The check was made out for $19,500, payable to the law firm.
Polar and Pabello are accused of altering the check to be made payable to Pabello in the amount of $285,000.
The pair is accused of depositing the fraudulent check into a shared bank account on Nov. 16. Polar and Pabello allegedly used the money to charter a private jet to New York City for themselves and several friends, rent five hotel rooms in Times Square, and purchase items at Tiffany & Co. and Montblanc.
Polar and Pabello are also accused of using cashier's checks for $100,000 and $33,000 from the amount deposited to lease and/or purchase a $3.7-million house in Murrieta, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
The bank that issued the original check rejected the fraudulent check.
Both defendants face a maximum sentence of six years and four months in prison.
The pair was scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon in Westminster. They were held on $285,000 bail each, provided the money is proven to be legitimately obtained.