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Feature Stories

Fugitive Booted Out of Paris, Arrested

From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 6
3/22/2013




Janae Christie Wong

Janae Christie, 37, was taken into custody at Los Angeles International Airport on March 5 after she was deported by Paris authorities for committing identity theft and fraud. Christie had a nationwide February 2011 warrant out for her arrest under 25 of those same felony charges locally, including burglary.

Christie is being held at the Women’s County Jail in Lynwood under a $640,000 bail because she previously broke a Lipstick bail bond commitment of $20,000 in 2010 and fled the country.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 25 at 8 a.m. in Bellflower Court, according to Detective Rich Kent of the Cerritos Sheriff Office, who has been investigating Christie’s alleged crimes since before June 2010, when formal charges were filed.
Beachcomber Publisher Jay Beeler originally wrote about Janae Christie Wong in November 2010 after numerous persons came forward regarding Christie’s Charmed Cupcakes store at 6422 E. Spring St., near Palo Verde Avenue.

Former Beachcomber Editor Elizabeth Pose said her friend, Dara Worrel, had $2,400 in fraudulent charges to her credit card at Nordstrom’s in Cerritos after using it at Charmed Cupcakes. Subsequently it was learned through yelp.com that dozens of Charmed Cupcakes customers had credit card charges of $7, $12.50, $17 and $20 that appeared on their statements as $700, $1,200, $1,700 and $2,000.

Attempts by the customers to have the fraudulent charges corrected often took months with false promises by Christie. Ultimately the credit card companies removed the store’s ability to process any credit cards.

The Beachcomber was contacted in 2010 by Charles Feder of Rossmoor Pastries, who reported that Christie failed to pay more than $5,160 for products purchased and then re-sold. Feder said that he even mentored Christie in her business, which first opened in May 2008, and was surprised by her failure to pay her debts.

A Southern California Produce representative told the Beachcomber that Christie stiffed them for more than $34,000 in supplies. Similar reports came from vendors who provided signs, decorations and other professional services in amounts up to $10,000.

Several employees in the position of “executive assistant” were asked to pay vendor invoices in amounts of $7-9,000 on their credit cards with promises to get repaid, but Christie failed to do so. One employee said Christie would show payroll deductions on her paycheck and then “kick back” those amounts as reimbursable expenses, thereby cheating the State of California and the U.S. Government, as well as benefits that would be due to the employee.

Two of Christie’s employees contacted the Beachcomber and referred to her as “a nasty, vindictive woman” who used hundreds of people and a half-dozen different aliases. It was “upsetting to see” according to one employee source, who described the working conditions as “horrible.”

The Beachcomber was successful in talking with Christie on Oct. 21, 2010, as she denied the various accusations and put the blame on former employees, saying “the employees responsible for the frauds have been fired and are under investigation.”
“Everyone on the team was in on it as well,” Christie claimed. She was sorry that “vicious rumors and gossip” had ruined their place in the community and she was working hard to clear that up.

On Oct. 24, 2010, Christie attempted damage control by sending out a press release stating that the business had been sold, yet the purchasing entity and its spokesperson proved to be fictitious when closely examined.

In subsequent conversations with a former roommate of Christie during 2003-04 in Virginia Beach it was learned that she maintained a three-ring binder containing personal information and credit card information. The roommate lost $30,000 in credit card charges, loans and furniture to Christie.

In 1997, at the age of 21, Christie had a high-level female mentor at UC Irvine fired by claiming “emotional abuse.” That mentor was unemployed for one year and lost her home. Subsequently that Christie victim was able to become a director of foundation relations for a prestigious Southern California school.

Detective Kent said that Christie was very successful in manipulating the court system a number of times through various delaying tactics like preliminary hearings and early dispensation hearings. Beachcomber sources said that Christie’s mother, Jan, was an attorney in Laguna Niguel. Calls to her were not returned.

Christie is married to James Wong and they reportedly have a daughter, but Long Beach Superior Court records show that James Wong filed for a dissolution of the marriage on July 25, 2011 that is still pending.

Persons who have been victimized by Janae Christie Wong should contact Detective Rich Kent at the Cerritos Sheriff Station, (562) 467-6819. Detective Greg McMullen of the Long Beach Police Department, (562) 570-7399, has also been working on the various Christie crimes and any charges that he may file will depend on recommendations from the appropriate prosecutors.