Brazilian Crew Member Sentenced to 15 Months In Prison

Mar 14, 2018

Renan Dias Da Rocha Gomes, a former Disney Cruise Line employee has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for embezzling more than $275,000 from The Walt Disney Company. The 32-year-old Brazilian National, who was working as a merchandise host aboard the Disney Wonder was arrested by the FBI on October 27, 2017, when the cruise ship made port in San Diego. At the Court hearing before the U.S. District Judge Cathy A. Bencivengo on December 21, 2017, Gomes admitted he executed his scheme by fraudulently diverting about $ 275,000 through his access to the onboard payment system in order to embezzle funds from DCL for his own personal use and benefit.

According to the plea agreement, Gomes admitted the wire fraud, saying he had embezzled Company’s money in unauthorized charges in a period of two years.

"Gomes admitted that he started diverting $40 and realized that nothing happened to him. He then carried several $1,000 gift cards while working on the ship, "the FBI said.

The former Disney crew member loaded the value of the funds onto Disney gift cards which he later used for his own benefit. Gomes also admitted that from April 23, 2017, through May 7, 2017, he spent approximately $37,700 of the money by taking his family on a Disney World vacation. While on this vacation, the crew member stated he used the gift cards with the embezzled funds to pay approximately $8,200 on lodging, approximately $29,500 on food, beverage, merchandise and entertainment expenses. 

As part of his plea agreement, Gomes will be required to repay The Walt Disney Company the total amount of funds he stole which the company was unable to recover. Three Investigating agencies were working on this case including Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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