On Thursday, December 21, 2017, it was announced that a former employee aboard a Disney Wonder cruise ship had pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud. Renan Dias Da Rocha Gomes admitted to being involved in a scheme to embezzle more than $275,000 from The Walt Disney Company. The defendant was arrested on October 27, 2017 when the Disney Wonder made port in San Diego. He admitted that from at least October 2015 to October 27, 2017, he worked as a merchandise host aboard the Disney Wonder.
Gomes admitted to executing a scheme to fraudulently obtain money through his access to the VeriFone payment system. He attempted to use that access to embezzle funds from Disney to use for his own personal use and benefit. According to the guilty plea, Gomes admitted to making roughly $275,000 in unauthorized charges to Disney’s bank account. Then, he loaded the value of the funds onto Disney gift cards while working on the cruise ship.
The defendant admitted that between April 23, 2017 to May 7, 2017 he spent roughly $37,700 of the embezzled funds for his personal benefit and to take his family on a Disney World vacation. Gomes used approximately $8,200 for lodging, $29,500 for food, beverage, merchandise, and entertainment expenses. The defendant will be required to repay The Walt Disney Company the total amount that he stole and the company was unable to recover. 32-year-old Renan Dias Da Rocha Gomes is a Brazilian National.
He will make another court appearance on March 9, 2018. At this time, he remains in federal custody. Additional details can be found here.