NEW PORT RICHEY — A paralegal is accused of going on a $2,200 shopping spree with credit cards belonging to a bankruptcy client.
Sauz Mendoza-Grandez, a paralegal at Anett Lopez P.A., told the client to bring his credit cards to the office so the firm could shred them, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. The client later received phone calls from credit companies questioning some charges on the account, so he notified deputies.
Detectives found that Mendoza-Grandez charged $1,600 at Best Buy, $558 at Kohl's and $77 at 7-Eleven using the client's credit cards, the report said.
"I know it was wrong," the 27-year-old told deputies, according to his arrest report. "I just wanted to give my kids Christmas presents."
Mendoza-Grandez added: "I'm sorry, I never did this before, it's just times are hard."
Lopez said she was surprised by the allegations about Mendoza-Grandez, who had returned to her firm a few months ago after his career as an emergency medical technician didn't pan out.
"I just had to let him go," said Lopez, adding there was no indication any other clients were affected.
Mendoza-Grandez of 10910 Jason Road in Port Richey was arrested Wednesday on four counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. He was released from the Land O'Lakes jail on $8,000 bail.