Arrest of embezzlement suspect
12/7/2011 8:00:00 AM
Nature of Incident:
Arrest of embezzlement suspect
Redondo Beach, CA.
Date & Time:
12/07/2011 @ 0800 hours
Major Crimes Bureau / Financial Crimes Unit
City of Residence
Paige Jones Hibbits aka Pearl Klenoski; Pearl K. Hibbits; Pearl Klenoski McClelland; Pearl Klenoski Jones; Pearl Jones; Paige Jones
Camarillo / Redondo Beach
On 12/07/2011, detectives from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office's Major Crimes Bureau executed a search warrant at the residence of Paige Hibbits in Redondo Beach, CA. The search warrant stemmed from a report of Embezzlement and Forgery from a local produce grower in Oxnard, wherein Hibbits was employed as Controller and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The investigation yielded evidence that Hibbits systematically and methodically stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the family-owned company, while entrusted as CFO.
The investigation revealed that Hibbits has been using multiple aliases over the years and has a lengthy criminal history; including felony convictions in 2004 for embezzlement and forgery from a prior employer. Additionally, Hibbits was arrested in 1990 and served time in state prison for assault with a deadly weapon. As part of Hibbits' probation from her 2004 conviction, she was ordered to disclose her fraud crimes to any future employer. She did not do so when she was employed by the produce company, and used a different name while engaged in that employment than she used when she committed her prior crimes. Hibbits has a known history of changing her name as part of a concerted effort to conceal her criminal past from prospective victims.
In order to gain credibility, Hibbits managed to place herself in positions of trust within Camarillo and Ventura County, serving in leadership positions within community organizations; positions she recently relinquished. Hibbits, acting through her business entity, 'Jones Hibbits, LLC,' (located in Camarillo) is known to have had other clients for whom she performed bookkeeping, tax preparation, and accounting related services. It is unknown at this time whether Hibbits victimized others in the manner she defrauded the local produce company.
Hibbits was arrested and subsequently booked at the Ventura County Jail for multiple counts of Grand Theft/Embezzlement and Forgery, with enhancements for 'Aggravated White Collar Crimes.' Hibbits' bail has been set at one million dollars ($1,000,000).
The Major Crimes Bureau is concerned that Hibbits' pattern of criminal fraud, her effective concealment of her identity and history may indicate she has also defrauded other individuals and organizations who placed their trust in her and may have given her access to their accounts. Anyone who has information regarding this crime, or who feels they may also have been victimized by Hibbits, is strongly encouraged to contact the Major Crimes Bureau / Financial Crimes Unit.
Deputy Preparing Media Release:
Detective Dean Worthy
Media Release Date:
Detective Sergeant Cary Peterson
Captain Brent Kerr
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).