Las Vegas Metro police make arrest Tuesday
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A woman is accused of pretending to be an attorney, accepting money from clients and forging judges’ signatures, the 8 News Now Investigators have learned.
Las Vegas Metro police arrested Cenia Poulsen, 35, on Tuesday after a nearly six-month investigation. Poulsen was never a licensed attorney in Nevada.
Poulsen has posed as an attorney since at least January 2022, police said, filing fraudulent documents for cases including divorces, name changes and adoptions with the Eighth Judicial District Court in Las Vegas. She also created fake emails from current judges, fraudulently signed judges’ and clients’ names, and used fake filing stamps on documents, police said.
In one incident, Poulsen created fake divorce documents, leading a couple to believe that they were legally divorced, forged the signature of Judge Dawn Throne and collected nearly $1,500 from the couple, including a retainer through Venmo, according to documents the 8 News Now Investigators obtained.
In a text message, when asked for a document, Poulsen appeared to express annoyance and replied, “I’ve been doing this for 16 years,” documents said.
When one of the parties in the divorce wanted her name changed, and it did not occur promptly, Poulsen appeared to continue to make excuses, including a judge who died by suicide, documents said.
“The judge it was reassigned to kill herself 2-3 weeks ago,” Poulsen texted in February 2023, according to police. Judge Melanie Tobiasson resigned in April 2021. She died in January 2022.
In a second incident, a woman stated that she believed Poulsen was an attorney and paid her $500 via Zelle to review a non-disclosure agreement.
In a third incident, Poulsen is accused of convincing a co-worker that she needed to pay medical expenses for her father who was having medical issues and that she needed to leave town for a death in the family resulting in that co-worker loaning her $15,800. According to police, the story was made up and Poulsen instead went with her husband and two friends to the Stagecoach Country Festival in California.
When promising to pay the co-worker back, Poulsen created fraudulent emails from Chase Bank, police said.
In a fourth incident, Poulsen again created fraudulent divorce documents and forged several signatures, including Judge Sunny Bailey’s.
In a fifth incident, Poulsen submitted fraudulent adoption paperwork and forged the signature of Judge Ronald Israel.
Poulsen is also accused of posing as a notary public. Detectives found at least 25 documents signed by Poulsen as a notary public even though has been previously suspended after a complaint was received in 2012 and then expired in 2016, according to police documents. Police said she used one notary public identification number belonging to someone else and another that did not exist.
Detectives interviewed Poulsen at the law firm where she works. She refused to have an attorney present, police said.
Poulsen said that she previously worked for attorney Douglas Crawford. He has a pending criminal case as he’s accused of trying to trade law services for sexual acts.
Poulsen also previously worked for Goldberg Injury Law where she is accused of stealing more than $7,300 with a company credit card by creating fraudulent invoices. During a discussion about the fraudulent charges via text message with attorney Katie Goldberg, Poulsen replied, “I’m so sorry Katy and I’m so embarrassed.”
In October 2023, Poulsen called the Clark County District Attorney’s office and spoke with a Chief Deputy District Attorney, detectives learned. Poulsen said her firm had a client who was being investigated for “unlawful practice of law,” asked about aspects of the case and whether certain actions would be illegal, police said. Detectives believed she was referring to her investigation.
The 8 News Now Investigators have learned Poulsen is married to a Las Vegas Metro police officer.
Poulsen faces charges including forgery, theft, preparing/delivering a person simulated legal document, and offering false instruments for public office filing. Poulsen has gone by the names Cenia Delpozo and Cenia Carillo.
Metro police were asking anyone who may have had legal work processed by Poulsen to call (702) 828-3251.