LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) Secret Service agents arrested the owner of Chez Gabriela Studio, a high-end Beverly Hills beauty salon, on fraud charges for allegedly using unauthorized credit card information from her Hollywood clientele, which includes Liv Tyler and Jennifer Aniston, to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in erroneous charges.
Maria Gabriela Perez, 51, was arrested Wednesday at her Chez Gabriela Studio.
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.
Apparently, Perez sent her clients out the door with more than just a stylish cut.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 similar 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 in exchange for the charges, 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.
She was expected to appear in federal court Thursday. Perez's attorney, Jerod Gunsberg, claimed she would be exonerated of all charges.