Last year, an employee of Disney Cruise Line was accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the ship he was working on, and now, he’s paying for his crimes. The cast member was working on the Disney Wonder for quite some time and accusations had him embezzling around $275,000, but it still needed to go to court. Now, he has come to a plea agreement on the charges brought against him and will have to serve a 15-month prison sentence for fraud.
Gomes had been embezzling the money by using the VeriFone payment system on the ship as he worked in different merchandise locations. He would quietly transfer for the money to gift cards and then take those gift cards and use them as he wished.
After taking a small amount and not being caught, Gomes kept taking more and more money. He ended up taking his family on a two-week vacation to Walt Disney World in spring of 2017, during which he spent more than $35,000 on resort accommodations, food, entertainment, drinks, and merchandise.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Gomes, a Brazilian national, has now been sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to one charge of wire fraud as part of a plea deal.
Last October, the Disney Wonder had moved to the western coast of the United States to begin sailings in different ports. Upon docking in San Diego, agents boarded the ship and placed Gomes under arrest for his then-alleged crimes.
Gomes began stealing the money from Disney Cruise Line back in 2015 and continued to keep doing it since he hadn’t been caught. A probable cause statement from FBI special agent Joyce Deniz stated that the less trouble he got in, the more he stole from the Disney Wonder.
“Gomes further admitted that he began by embezzling approximately $40 and realized that nothing happened to him. He immediately thereafter began loading the limit amount of $1,000 onto multiple gift cards while working on the ship.”
While Disney does have security cameras aboard their fleet of cruise ships, the transactions done by Gomes were simply never found out until close to $300,000 had been taken.
The wire fraud charges brought against Renan Dias Da Rocha Gomes were something that could have brought him much more punishment, but the plea deal helped him out. Receiving 15 months in prison on wire fraud is just part of it, though, as he will also have to pay restitution for the money he stole from Disney Cruise Line.