We hate handing out tips to wannabe white-collar criminals, but if you’re going to use your job to steal millions of dollars in food, at least make sure you’re in the office to answer calls about your latest shipment of embezzled Tex-Mex arrives.
An employee of the Cameron County, TX, Juvenile Justice Department stands accused of stealing some $1.2 million worth of fajitas over a nine-year period, reports The Brownsville Herald.
How did he get caught? By being away from his desk.
In August, a driver from a food service company that supplies the department’s meat called to let them know that 800 pounds of fajitas were on their way.
Problem was, the woman who answered the phone had no idea what he was talking about. Not only hadn’t the county recently ordered any fajitas; they were never on the menu. That surprised the driver, who’d been delivering the fajitas for nearly a decade.
The employee who’d picked the wrong day to be out of the office, returned to work, where he reportedly admitted to the long-running fajita theft. He was fired, then subsequently arrested.
After checking documents from the vendor and the county auditor’s office, officials concluded that he’d allegedly swiped $1,251,578 worth of fajitas.
“He would literally, on the day he ordered them, deliver them to customers he had already lined up,” District Attorney Luis Saenz told the Herald. “We’ve been able to uncover two of his purchasers, and they are cooperating with the investigation.”
The county Juvenile Justice Department said it will be reviewing its policy in light of the crime.
“The Juvenile Justice Department is working closely with the Auditor’s Office to institute procedures, controls and safeguards to avoid a recurrence of this type of situation,” Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Rose Gomez said in a statement.
Saenz says the investigation showed a “total failure” of the chain of authority, and that someone should have caught this earlier.
“If it wasn’t so serious, you’d think it was a Saturday Night Live skit,” he told the Herald. “But this is the real thing.”