FORT LAUDERDALE – A Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue firefighter/paramedic is accused of fraud after he reportedly used county paid parking vouchers in a side business.
Mario Artze-Ordiales, 33, has been charged with grand theft and scheme to defraud.
Artze-Ordiales’ side business involved renting personal vehicles through a carsharing service. The cars were parked and picked up at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
According to sheriff’s investigators, he provided his customers with prepaid BSFR parking vouchers, available only to employees, so they did not have to pay for parking at the airport.
An investigation was launched in January after one of Artze-Ordiales’ carsharing customers attempted to use a voucher to leave the airport. The customer said he had rented the vehicle from Artze-Ordiales, according to sheriff’s investigators.
The parking garage attendant confiscated the voucher, requested payment, and then contacted her supervisors.
The sheriff’s office said its investigation revealed that from January 2020 to January 2022, on dozens of occasions, Artze-Ordiales provided prepaid vouchers to his carsharing clients to use as payment for parking at the airport.
Artze-Ordiales, who was assigned to the airport, is accused of defrauding the county’s Aviation Department out of more than $3,000.
On June 8, Artze-Ordiales was suspended with pay by BSO’s Division of Internal Affairs. He was arrested on Tuesday, June 21st.
“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,” said Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said. “This employee will be held accountable for his actions.”
Following his arrest, Artze-Ordiales was suspended without pay.
He was hired by BSFR in September 2012.