Texas man charged with stealing $1.2M worth of fajitas

A man was arrested after authorities say he stole more than $1 million in fajitas over a nine year period

"In the event that it wasn't so genuine, you'd think it was a Saturday Night Live drama. But this is the real thing", District Attorney Luis V. Saenz told the Brownsville Herald. A driver from the Juvenile Justice Department's meat vendor- Labatt Food Service in Harlingen - called the department's kitchen to inform that they were bringing an 800-pound delivery of fajitas.

Escaramilla was arrested on Tuesday (10 October) on a first-degree theft felony.

Escaramilla was sacked August 8 and arrested at his house the following day, where investigators found fajita ingredients in his refrigerator.

According to a report in The Brownsville Herald, Gilberto Escamilla stole the beef over a nine-year period. A woman told the driver they don't serve fajitas, but the driver insisted he'd been delivering them there for nine years.

Escaramilla has acknowledged stealing packages of the food for nine years. Invoices and purchase orders also recovered left investigators to conclude Escaramilla had stolen $1,251,578 worth of fajitas.

"He would truly, on the day he requested [the fajitas], convey them to clients he had officially arranged", Saenz said.

Saenz said the Juvenile Justice Department has been consistently exceeding its line item budget for years, but officials failed to uncover the fajita scheme. "We've possessed the capacity to reveal two of his buyers, and they are participating with the examination".

Saneez in his comments said: "Up and down the chain of authority, people were signing off on these things".

Gilberto Escaramilla was sacked from his Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department job in August.

As the Associated Press reported, investigators found that Escamilla "would intercept county-funded food deliveries and deliver them to his own customers".

"The Department will continue to strive to provide necessary and appropriate care, custody and protection of those juveniles in its custody as well as protection of public moneys", she said in a written statement to the Herald.



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