Woman gets prison for scamming nuns out of thousands


A former employee of a Bay Area convent will be serving time in federal prison after being convicted of embezzling more than $100,000 from the convent.

Federal prosecutors say 67-year-old Linda Gomez was sentenced to 14 months in prison Thursday for using a credit card issued to her from the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary Catholic Convent in Los Gatos to get cash and buy jewelry and other items.

Prosecutors say Gomez — who also went by the name of Linda Surrett — worked in various jobs at the convent, including as its director of food services and as a manager of an on-site convenience store.

Prosecutors say beginning in March of 2008 — until she resigned from the convent in May of 2010 — Gomez used the credit card to obtain $47,000 in cash and $53,000 worth of jewelry, high-end cutlery, purses, shoes, kitchen appliances and other items.

Gomez was sentenced to prison after admitting to the embezzlement and pleading guilty last fall to 14 counts of wire fraud and to three counts of mail fraud.

In sentencing her, the judge in the case noted that Gomez had abused a position of trust and had also made misrepresentations that she was making the purchases on behalf of a religious organization.

Besides time in prison, Gomez was also ordered to pay $110,000 in restitution. Once she’s released from prison, she’ll be under supervised released for three years.

Gomez — who used to live in Sunnyvale, but has since moved to Arizona — is scheduled to report to prison on December 4.

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