Two Dozen Felony Charges Filed Against Businesswoman Accused of Stealing Funds

Celeste Marie Avellana's booking photo released June 4, 2014 by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
Celeste Marie Avellana's booking photo released June 4, 2014 by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

A Wildomar-based property investment firm partner accused of misappropriating  nearly $750,000 in company funds was charged Thursday with more than two dozen felonies.

Celeste Marie Avellana, 62, was arrested Tuesday following a seven-month investigation into alleged illegal activity committed by the Mission Viejo resident, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

She was slated to make her initial court appearance Thursday afternoon at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta on 28 counts of forgery, five counts of grand theft and one count of falsifying records, along with a sentence- enhancing allegation of committing a felony resulting in losses of more than $500,000.

According to sheriff's Lt. Zachary Hall, investigators believe Avellana misappropriated funds that were intended for distribution to her associates at Potter & Schleuniger, a California limited liability company that handles rental properties throughout the region.

Hall did not disclose how long the alleged thefts had occurred, or the manner in which the defendant allegedly attempted to conceal the activity. According to the sergeant, Avellana acted in the capacity of a controller in the business venture.

She was arrested without incident at her office on Rancho Parkway and booked into the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, where she's being held in lieu of $746,000 bail.

– City News Service.

PirateGirl June 05, 2014 at 09:12 PM
LMAO Cy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Steve M June 07, 2014 at 01:00 AM
Like they say; "If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem, if you owe the bank $745,000, that's their problem." She'll probably do 3 years and get out just in time to collect her SS benefits.....They can't take that away.....can they???


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