April 23 (UPI) — A former Texas juvenile center employee who stole $1.2 million worth of fajitas was sentenced to 50 years in prison for theft by a public servant.
Visiting State District Judge J. Manuel Banales ordered the 50-year sentence for Gilberto Escamilla, who admitted to using taxpayer money to buy fajita meat and sell it for profit while working as a purchaser for Darrel B. Hester Juvenile Detention Center.
An audit report revealed Escamilla managed to shave $1,251,578 from food purchases for 9 years undetected.
Escamilla was arrested in 2017 after $800 worth of fajitas, which the facility doesn’t serve, were delivered while he was away from work at a doctor’s appointment.
“It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and out of control,” Escamilla said in his testimony. “It got to the point where I couldn’t control it anymore.”
Cameron County Assistant District Attorney Peter Gilman asked Banales to issue the lengthy sentence to prevent other public servants from committing similar acts.
“We feel a strong message should be sent,” Gilman said.