Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing $100,000 from Los Gatos Nuns

Linda Gomez said she stole cash, used convent credit cards to buy purses, jewelry and items on the Home Shopping Network.

By Breena Kerr
|  Friday, Oct 26, 2012  |  Updated 10:26 AM PDT
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Woman Pleads Guilty To  Stealing From Los Gatos Nuns

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A Sunnyvale woman pleaded guilty on Thursday to stealing more than $100,000 from Los Gatos nuns, using some of that money to adorn herself in accessories, much of which she bought on a home shopping channel.

Charged with 17 counts of fraud, Linda Gomez admitted in a San Jose federal courtroom that she used her administrative position at a Los Gatos convent to steal more than $47,000 in cash and buy more than $53,000 worth of jewelry, shoes, purses, appliances, premium cutlery and other items from the Home Shopping Network QVC on a charge card meant for convent purchases, according to the United States Department of Justice.

Gomez, also known as Linda Surrett, worked at the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary Catholic Convent between 1987 and 2010. Her positions included director of food services and managing an on-site convenience store, where she was responsible for making purchases for the convent's 75 Catholic nuns and 60 lay employees, according to the Department of Justice.

According to the Department of justice, Gomez used her access to convent funds to get reimbursed for fake purchases and buy things for herself between March of 2008 and May of 2010, the Department of Justice said.

Francine Redick, a spokeswoman for the sisters said in a phone interview Friday that the nuns would not be commenting on the case.

"We learned about the agreement yesterday and like everyone else we'll just be waiting to see what happens next," Redick said.

Gomez was charged in an indictment filed in San Jose Federal District Court on Dec. 22, 2011. She pleaded guilty to all 17 counts of wire and mail fraud, the Department of Justice said.

Gomez is scheduled to be sentenced on March 28.

She could face up to 20 years in prison and more than $1 million in fines.
 

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