Taking your family on a Walt Disney World Resort vacation is not something that a lot of people would consider inexpensive. Many people save for years to be able to experience the Most Magical Place on Earth. But how far would you go to get the money for your dream trip? Would you go so far as to steal from your job? Or from children?
On Thursday, January 11, former Miami-Dade School Board member, Lubby Navarro, was arrested. She was charged with stealing $100,000 from her former employer. She has been charged with grand theft and organized fraud.
According to NBC 6, trips to Disney World were just one way Navarro spent the tens of thousands of dollars she illegally obtained. The prosecutor’s office even included photographic evidence of some of the purchases Navarro allegedly made with the stolen funds:
The illegal purchases include more than $92,000 spent at retail stores like Walmart, Office Depot, Brandsmart and elsewhere on items including appliances, electronics, clothing, health and beauty products, household goods, home furnishings, food, and gift cards, [Miami-Dade State Attorney] Fernandez Rundle said.
As part of her job, the 49-year-old Navarro was issued a credit card by the district. It was with this credit card that she made a number of unapproved and illegal purchases.
Ms. Navarro’s attorney has disputed the claims, saying his client is innocent:
“Ms. Navarro, an honorable government employee and former Member of the Miami-Dade School Board, has lived her life in service to the community. She has never before been accused of any wrongdoing and was given no opportunity to demonstrate her innocence in advance of her surprise arrest. She was not even provided the routine opportunity to allow her lawyer to surrender her as she fights these allegations,” read the statement from attorney Benedict P. Kuehne. “Ms. Navarro fully intends to prevail in this case. This effort to ruin her well-deserved reputation as an honest, properly motivated community servant will be shown to be unjust. Ms. Navarro looks forward to her complete vindication and her resumption of working for the betterment of the community. Ms. Navarro states without equivocation that she is innocent of wrongdoing and appreciates the many expressions of support and well wishes by those who know her best.”
Stealing For Disney Trips
Sadly, this is not the first time that is has reported on someone stealing massive amounts of money and using the funds to pay for trips to Disney.
Back in September, it was made public that a woman had stolen more than €150,000 — approximately $187,000 — from celebrity chef Stephen Terry. Nicola Nightingale had worked for Terry, serving as the administrator of his restaurant, The Hardwick. During the pandemic, Terry learned that Nightingale had stolen from him, and that his restaurant was tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
In an even crazier instance, a former pastor is on the run and is one of the FBI’s most wanted criminals. Christopher W. Burns has been accused of stealing more than $10 million and using it to fund a luxury lifestyle. This included trips to Disney World, where he used Disney’s VIP tour service, to the amount of more than $8,000 per day.
Burns has been on the run for more than two years, and the FBI is still hoping to receive information on his whereabouts.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, former NASA executive, Andrew Tezna, stole more than $300,000 meant to help those in need. Tezna used a lot of that money to fund his love of Disney. This included paying to be a member of the Disney Vacation Club. Tezna pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.
Sadly, people stealing from children, charities, and more appears to becoming more the norm.
What do you think of this woman’s actions? Let us know in the comments!