Convent worker stole from nuns, went on shopping spree
A former employee of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary Catholic Convent in Los Gatos, south of San Jose, pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling more than $100,000 from the nuns she worked with.
Linda Gomez, 66, who is also known as Linda Surrett, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud. She faces up to 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors say Gomez, who worked for the convent for 23 years, used the convent charge card for personal expenses -- including jewelry, high-end cutlery, purses, shoes, kitchen appliances and numerous purchases on the QVC and Home Shopping networks -- and was reimbursed for items she had not actually purchased for the convent.
Officials estimate that Gomez embezzled more than $47,000 in cash and more than $53,000 in purchases charged to the convent.
Gomez was first charged in December 2011 after an FBI investigation. She did not receive a plea deal and will be sentenced in March, the U.S. district attorney's office said.
-- Wesley Lowery