A 22-year-old California woman is accused of posing as a Disney employee, complete with bogus Mickey Mouse business cards, and selling fake tickets to more than a dozen people.
Jennifer Anne Cardema, who used to live in San Jose and now lives in Pacifica, was charged Friday with grand theft, identity theft, and aggravated white collar crime enhancements, according to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Deng.
Cardema is being represented by a public defender, but she did not enter a plea on Friday and neither commented about the case. Her bail was set at $332,000 for one set of charges, including the Disney-related counts, and $150,000 for another set of charges.
According to prosecutors, her scam lasted more than two years, and investigators tracked down at least 14 acquaintances or friends of acquaintances who were targeted.
During several scenarios, Cardema allegedly pretended she was a Disney employee who had the ability to sell discounted annual passes and hotel reservations. She tricked her customers, prosecutors said, by creating a fake LinkedIn page, Disneyland passes, Disneyland emails and business cards decorated with pictures of Mickey Mouse and Elsa, the main character in the hit film "Frozen."
Deng said several families in Silicon Valley traveled to Anaheim, California; or Orlando, Florida; only to find that their Disney passes were not valid and their rooms were not booked. One victim called Santa Clara police, several people called San Jose police, and one person contacted the District Attorney, Deng said. During the investigation, more victims were discovered.
Cardema conned other victims, Deng said, by leading them to believe she was hiring them at Intel or YouTube so they would provide personal information in job applications. A few days later, Cardema would allegedly open credit cards under their names and go on shopping sprees, according to prosecutors.
U.S. & World
When many of the victims demanded their money back, Cardema would send them checks which were returned for insufficient funds, prosecutors said.
This Disney scam is not the first.
In February, Mountain View police arrested 25-year-old David Kao of San Francisco on charges of selling Park Hopper tickets to Disneyland for $500 on Craiglist. When the family showed up at the Anaheim theme park, they presented their tickets at the counter only to find out they were fake, authorities said.
NBC Bay Area's Robert Handa contributed to this report.