Fla. firefighter-paramedic arrested on theft, fraud charges

Mario Artze-Ordiales is accused of defrauding the Broward County Aviation Department through car parking vouchers

Chris Perkins
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A firefighter-paramedic was arrested Tuesday and charged with grand theft of less than $5,000 and scheme to defraud, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Mario Artze-Ordiales, who began working for Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue in 2012, had a side business between January 2020 and January 2022 in which he rented personal vehicles through a carsharing service. The cars were picked up at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Officials say Artze-Ordiales, who was assigned to the airport between January 2020 and January 2022, would give renters prepaid parking vouchers that are available only to Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue employees. The vouchers allowed renters to park without paying, something officials say defrauded the Broward County Aviation Department of more than $3,000.

The investigation started in January when someone presented the voucher and attempted to leave the airport without paying. The parking garage attendant took the voucher, demanded payment from the driver, and then contacted her supervisors. Officials said the parking vouchers were given to renters on “dozens of occasions.”

Artze-Ordiales, who began working for Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue in 2012, was suspended with pay on June 8, a status that changed to suspended without pay following Tuesday’s arrest.

Also, the Public Corruption Unit said Artze-Ordiales didn’t submit the required off-duty employment form for his work at the airport.


©2022 South Florida Sun-Sentinel

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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