Photo: Convent Employee Steals from Nuns for Home Shopping Network
A former lay employee for the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary Catholic Convent (the Convent) in Los Gatos, Calif., was charged yesterday with 14 counts of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
According to the indictment, Linda Gomez (a/k/a Linda Surrett), 65, of Sunnyvale, Calif., used her administrative positions to embezzle cash and to charge personal expenses to a Convent charge card.
According to the indictment, between 1987 and 2010, Gomez worked for the Convent in various administrative capacities, including as the director of food services and the manager of an on-site convenience store. As part of her professional responsibilities, Gomez made purchases for the 75 Catholic nuns and 60 lay employees at the Convent.
The Indictment charges that between March 2008 and her resignation in May 2010, Gomez used various methods to embezzle from the Convent, including obtaining fraudulent reimbursements or credits for products she falsely claimed she had purchased for the Convent and its nuns.
The Indictment states that Gomez embezzled more than $100,000 from the Convent. In addition to embezzling more than $47,000 in cash, Gomez also fraudulently diverted more than $53,000 of Convent funds for personal expenses such as jewelry, high-end cutlery, purses, shoes, kitchen appliances, and numerous purchases on the QVC and Home Shopping Networks.