OC Hotel Employee Convicted In Fraud Scheme

OCEAN CITY — A former hotel assistant manager pleaded guilty on Wednesday to embezzlement and other charges after paying herself and family members through various schemes over a three-year period.

On Wednesday, Gilenia Garcia, 36, of Frankford, Del., plead guilty to embezzlement and theft scheme from $10,000 to under $100,000 in Worcester County Circuit Court. Garcia was sentenced to five years in the Worcester County Jail, all but six months of which were suspended. She was also placed on supervised probation for five years upon her release and was ordered to pay restitution to the victim, the Paradise Plaza Hotel, at an amount to be determined at a later hearing.

Garcia was hired as an assistant manager at the hotel in early 2011 and was responsible for the company’s payroll. An Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) investigation revealed Garcia had stolen around $82,500 from the company utilizing different schemes from 2014 to 2017.

OCPD detectives determined Garcia had been fraudulently giving herself and family members unearned paid leave. Garcia was also depositing payroll checks into her own personal account in the name of J-1 seasonal foreign workers who had already returned to their home countries.

Following Wednesday’s successful prosecution of Garcia, Interim Worcester County State’s Attorney William McDermott thanked Circuit Court prosecutor Lauren Bourdon for working through the complicated issues often associated with white collar-type crimes. McDermott also thanked Detective Michael Karsnitz for following the criminal paper trail.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.