Juneau woman indicted for misusing more than $20K

The owner of a Juneau realty group noticed unusual activity by some of his tenants last year: they were trying to make non-certified payments for rent and deposits.

Mike Race had a bookkeeper look into it to find out if payments like this were accounted for. The bookkeeper discovered more than $20,000 missing from the books. Shortly after, an employee resigned.

A Juneau grand jury indicted Rosalinda Ainza, 33, Feb. 5. for first-degree theft and second-degree forgery in connection to misused funds and altered documents while she worked as a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Race Realty.

First-degree theft is a class B felony that can carry up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000, and second-degree forgery is a class C felony that can carry up to five years behind bars and a $50,000 fine.

Mike Race, the realty group owner, said tenants began asking last year about dropping off checks in person or paying in cash, both which he said are not certified forms of payment because they cannot be tracked.

“So and so used to pick it up all the time,” Race told the Empire in October after charges were filed against Ainza, describing calls tenants made to the company.

“We had one client come in and make a check out to Coldwell and by the time that cleared, Ainza’s name was in front of it, and the bank was standing up to any of the checks that were monkeyed with,” Race said.

According to an affidavit filed Sept. 24, Ainza’s name appeared at least once in front of a $1,800 check initially made out to the realty group, and the handwriting of the altered portion matched writing by Ainza on other checks.

Race said Ainza resigned June 6 and apologized in a letter for misusing approximately $20,000. A bookkeeper later calculated the true amount to be $27,816.89.

Two days after her resignation, managing broker Errol Champion contacted the Juneau Police Department. The Juneau District Attorney’s office filed an affidavit three months later in September. Ainza did not appear in court until October and her indictment followed four months later.

The affidavit states that JPD Detective Sterling Salisbury interviewed Ainza in October and she told him that she began misusing the funds when she was working full-time and enrolled in school. She wrote checks to herself and to a family member using the company account.

“Ainza stated she intended to use the property management account as a personal expense account and to reconcile it before anyone noticed,” Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige wrote in the affidavit. Ainza told Salisbury she has since applied for loans and credit cards to start paying the money back.

Ainza entered a not guilty plea in court during her arraignment Feb. 10.

“I do not agree with the accusations that have been made. Since this case is pending, it would not be appropriate for me to publicly comment on details,” Ainza told the Empire by phone Wednesday.

“The Juneau community means everything to me,” she added. “As this case proceeds, I will continue to put forth effort into my local nonprofit and global humanitarian work. I’ll do so with continued honesty and dignity, and with the hope that this does not ruin my spirit or my relationship with the community.”

Ainza’s next scheduled court date is March 3 before Judge Louis Menendez, with trial dates set for late April.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of June 15

Here’s what to expect this week.

Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people gather in Juneau for the opening of Celebration on June 5. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Federal judge considers lawsuit that could decide Alaska tribes’ ability to put land into trust

Arguments took place in early May, and Judge Sharon Gleason has taken the case under advisement.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Tuesday, June 18, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, June 17, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Workers stand next to the Father Brown’s Cross after they reinstalled it at an overlook site on Mount Roberts on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Hugo Miramontes)
Father Brown’s Cross is resurrected on Mount Roberts after winter collapse

Five workers put landmark back into place; possibility of new cross next year being discussed.

KINY’s “prize patrol” vehicle is parked outside the Local First Media Group Inc.’s building on Wednesday morning. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau radio station KINY is using AI to generate news stories — how well does it get the scoop?

As trust and economics of news industry continue long decline, use and concerns of AI are growing.

An empty classroom at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on July 20, 2022. (Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska faces consequences as federal education funding equity dispute continues

State officials offered feds a $300,000 compromise instead of $17 million adjustment.

Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson, D-Anchorage, speaks on the Senate floor on March 6. Gray-Jackson was the sponsor of a bill to make Juneteenth a state holiday. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
On Juneteenth, Gov. Dunleavy weighs adding a new legal holiday for Alaska

If the governor signs recently passed bill, Juneteenth would be observed as a state holiday in 2025.

Most Read