It wasn't until Jonathan Spielberg started missing classes at Paul VI High School that his story started to crumble. When he'd transferred to the Fairfax City Catholic high school, he presented transcripts from the "Beverly Hills Private School for Actors" and letters with the DreamWorks SKG letterhead, the company of his "Uncle Steven," famed filmmaker Steven Spielberg.
But when school officials attempted to find Jonathan Spielberg's parents last week and called DreamWorks in California, they learned that Steven Spielberg has no nephews in Fairfax.
Monday night, Fairfax City police searched the apartment of Jonathan Taylor Spielberg, who they say may be 27 years old, and arrested him on charges of forgery and uttering false documents.
Police believe Jonathan Spielberg's name used to be Anoushirvan D. Fakhran but was legally changed in Fairfax County some time ago.
In arrest warrants, Spielberg is listed as 20 years old, but Fairfax City police said he used multiple birth dates and may be as old as 27. A slight man at 5-foot-9 and 130 pounds, he listed Tehran as his birthplace.
Spielberg apparently applied at Paul VI in September 1998, according to court records. Officials with the school and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington yesterday wouldn't say when he enrolled or who paid his tuition at the four-year school, where annual rates start at nearly $5,500 per student.
He later allegedly submitted a nearly straight-A transcript purporting to be from a school in Beverly Hills, according to Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ian Rodway. Paul VI administrators also received two letters, ostensibly on DreamWorks stationery and written by Jonathan Spielberg's mother, thanking the school for helping her son, Rodway said.
After Spielberg missed classes recently, Paul VI officials contacted DreamWorks, according to Fairfax City police officer Jeffrey Morrison. A security consultant for Steven Spielberg then called police to say that the director has no nephews in Fairfax.
Morrison said Jonathan Spielberg lived with family in an apartment complex in Fairfax City, where he was arrested late Monday. After his arraignment yesterday, he was released from the Fairfax County jail after posting $15,000 bond.
Paul VI officials declined to comment, while the diocese issued a statement saying only that the incident had not affected operations at the school. School officials in Beverly Hills said they had never heard of the actors' school. Officials with DreamWorks said they were aware of the situation.