LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) The presumption of innocence.
It is the principal that one is innocent until proven guilty; it is the legal right of the accused; and, it is the updated Facebook status for Chez Gabriela, the posh Beverly Hills salon whose owner was accused of racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in erroneous charges on some of her most high-profile clients' credit cards.
"To all friends of Chez Gabriela, and others, you are to remember that everyone is innocent until proven otherwise," the page reads. "Chez Gabriela will be exonerated of all allegations soon."
But some "friends" aren't convinced. "SHAME!" one comment reads. Another empathizes with the upscale salon, but sends a caution, "I hope that they are wrong, because you have a bright future, hate to think you decided to do something so stupid."
Secret Service agents arrested 51-year-old owner Maria Gabriela Perez Wednesday at her establishment.
As indicated in court documents, Perez is accused of "fraudulently [charging] approximately $280,000 worth of charges in a one year period," reports celebrity Web site TMZ.
An affidavit states that actress Liv Tyler had bad charges on two credit cards totaling approximately $214,000 from Perez's studio over a five-month period last year.
Perez's website boats of her A-list celebrity clientele - including Halle Berry, Cher, and Jennifer Aniston. Aniston, fellow actress Anne Hathaway, and singer Cher were also victims of faulty charges on their credit cards, according to the affidavit.
Perez allegedly took a bit off the top from jewelry designer Loree Rodkin, whose attorney told investigators that about $68,000 was charged to her credit card from Perez's studio without her consent. In an attempt to smooth things over, Perez offered Rodkin $25,000 worth of products, but Rodkin declined, stated the affidavit.
According to investigators, most of the charges from Perez's studio on Rodkin's card were made when the credit card numbers were entered manually, rather than the card being swiped.
Perez faces two counts of fraud and if convicted she could serve a maximum prison sentence of 25 years.
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