Posted: Aug 18, 2010 8:27 PM by Alison Haynes
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The owner of a Beverly Hills beauty salon was
charged with fraud Wednesday for using credit card information from
clients such as Liv Tyler to ring up hundreds of thousands of
dollars in bogus charges, authorities said.
Maria Gabriella Perez, 51, was arrested by Secret Service agents
at her business, Chez Gabriela Studio. She faces two counts of
fraud that carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 years if she is
Perez was expected to appear in federal court Thursday.
Her attorney, Jerod Gunsberg, said his client will be exonerated
of all the charges.
Perez's website says her celebrity clientele includes Jennifer
Aniston, Halle Berry and Cher. An affidavit said actress Liv Tyler
had about $214,000 in bad charges from Perez's studio to two credit
cards over a five-month period last year.
Another alleged victim was jewelry designer Loree Rodkin, whose
attorney told investigators that about $68,000 had been charged to
her credit card from Perez's studio without her authorization.
Perez offered $25,000 worth of products in exchange for the
charges, but Rodkin refused, the affidavit said.
Investigators said in Rodkin's case, most of the charges from
Perez's studio were made when the credit card numbers were entered
manually as opposed to the card being swiped.
Rodkin also told authorities she knew of other clients, such as
Aniston, Cher and Anne Hathaway, who had similar charges on their
credit card, the affidavit said.
Messages left with the three actresses' representatives were not
An e-mail message left with Rodkin's attorney, Dave Kettel, was
not returned Wednesday.