A Broward Sheriff's Office firefighter-paramedic is facing grand theft charges after authorities said he gave fire rescue airport parking vouchers to customers of his car rental side business.
Mario Artze-Ordiales, 33, was arrested Tuesday for grand theft of less than $5,000 and scheme to defraud, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said.
Officials said Artze-Ordiales operated a side business renting personal vehicles through a carsharing service, with the cars parked and picked up at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
From January 2020 to January 2022, Artze-Ordiales, who was assigned to the airport, gave his customers prepaid Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue parking vouchers available only to employees, authorities said.
As a result, Artze-Ordiales defrauded the Broward County Aviation Department out of more than $3,000, officials said.
BSO began investigating Artze-Ordiales in January 2022 after one of his carsharing customers tried to use a fire rescue voucher to leave the airport without paying.
The customer indicated that he rented the car from Artze-Ordiales. The parking garage attendant confiscated the parking voucher, requested payment from the driver and contacted her superiors, officials said.
On June 8, Artze-Ordiales, who was hired by the department in September 2012, was suspended with pay by BSO’s Division of Internal Affairs. He is now suspended without pay.
“Taking advantage of one’s trusted public position in order to enrich oneself is not only ethically wrong, but in this case, it’s also a crime," Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a statement. "This employee will be held accountable for his actions. These crimes are a poor reflection on this individual but not on the dedicated, hard-working men and women of the Broward Sheriff’s Office."
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