A Broward firefighter-paramedic is accused of $3,000 airport parking fraud

·2 min read
Miami

Deputies say a two-year side hustle ended with an arrest this week of a Broward firefighter-paramedic who is accused of conning $3,000 from the county using employee parking passes at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Mario Artze-Ordiales, who began working for Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue in 2012, is facing charges of one count of scheme to defraud and one of grand theft of less than $5,000. He was arrested Tuesday afternoon.

Deputies say Artze-Ordiales rented personal vehicles through car-sharing service Turo from 2020 to 2022 — and gave customers prepaid, employee-only BSFR parking vouchers to sweeten the deal with free parking.

He had “obtained numerous prepaid parking vouchers” and more than 100 reservations on Turo within the two-year time frame, according to the sheriff’s office report.

The total cost of the vouchers racked up to roughly $3,029.

BSO first began investigating Artze-Ordiales, who was assigned to the airport, in January when a parking attendant reported a customer trying to leave the airport using one of the Broward Aviation Department’s employee vouchers. They said it was given to him by the owner of the car he was renting.

In messages on Turo, Artze-Ordiales told the customer the voucher would be on the dashboard, and instructed him to “go to cashiers booth only and hand them tickets for free parking.”

Police said the firefighter-paramedic has a business registered as “Mario’s Slingshot and Jeep Rental Co.,” and had six cars registered on Turo at the time of the investigation, though only three were listed as active.

“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,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a statement.

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