The Broward Sheriff’s Office Public Corruption Unit arrested Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue (BSFR) firefighter/paramedic Mario Artze-Ordiales for grand theft and fraud.
Detectives arrested Artze-Ordiales for his crimes at BSO’s Public Safety Building, Tuesday afternoon.
Officials said Artze-Ordiales operated a rental business through a carsharing service for personal vehicles outside of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport.
Records showed Artze-Ordiales was assigned to the airport between January 2020 to January 2022 where he defrauded the Broward County Aviation Department by providing his customers with prepaid BSFR parking vouchers which are only available to employees.
Police investigated the former firefighter in January after one of his carsharing customers attempted to use a BSFR voucher to leave the airport without paying. A parking garage attendant confiscated the parking voucher and requested payment from the customer before she contacted her superiors.
Investigators found that between that time, Artze-Ordiales provided dozens of prepaid vouchers to his clients to use as payment for parking at FLL.
“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 press release. “This employee will be held accountable for his actions. These crimes are a poor reflection on this individual but not on the dedicated, hard-working men and women of the Broward Sheriff’s Office.”
Artze-Ordiales was suspended with pay by BSO’s Division of Internal Affairs on June 8 but following his arrest, he was suspended without pay.
He is being charged with grand theft of less than $5,000 and scheme to defraud.