San Diego

Disney Cruise Employee Heads to Prison for Embezzling

A former Disney cruise ship worker has been sentenced in San Diego to 15 months in prison for embezzling more than $260,000 from his employer.

Renan Dias Da Rocha Gomes, 32, was arrested by federal agents aboard the Disney Wonder on Friday, Oct. 27. The ship had just returned to San Diego following a cruise to Mexico.

As a merchandise host, Gomez illegally obtained money through VeriFone, the payment system used by the cruise line, according to a spokesperson for the Southern District of California’s Office of the U.S. Attorney.

The complaint filed accused Gomes of loading about $275,000 onto gift cards for him to later spend. 

More than 200 gift cards were found in a search of his cabin aboard the Disney Wonder.

According to court records, Gomes spent approximately $35,000 of the embezzled funds taking his family on a Disney World vacation.

Gomes was also accused of using identification for another Disney employee who was not on the ship at the time as a way to cover up his crimes.

The Brazil citizen admitted to wire fraud charges as part of a plea deal. His temporary work visa has been canceled. He will be removed from the United States to Brazil after completing his prison term.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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