BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Delilah Madriaga Mascarinas has a thing for men in uniform.
After starting an Instagram account last year, she engaged in conversations with numerous men who claimed to be in the military, receiving eight proposals, according to her statement contained in Delano police reports.
The attention came with a price. Her online charmers asked for gift cards to pay for their internet connection, games and music, Mascarinas said.
She fulfilled their requests, racking up thousands of dollars in expenses using an account that was designated for use by the Delano Philippine Weekend Committee, according to newly-released court documents.
Mascarinas said she meant to pay the money back.
“And it just spiraled out of control,” she told police. “And when I wasn’t able to pay it back then that’s when everything happened.
Mascarinas, 66, was arrested last month on charges of embezzlement and passing fictitious checks. She’s due in court Monday.
An investigation determined around $20,000 was missing from the committee, which annually organizes a two-day event celebrating Filipino culture.
“On behalf the Philippine Weekend Committee, we acknowledge the allegations brought forth against Delilah Mascarinas,” says a post on the committee’s Facebook page. “At this time, we will leave the allegations in the hands of the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.”
Also included in the reports is Mascarinas’ account of receiving a mysterious $15,000 check from someone she couldn’t name and depositing it into the account. She said she used it to withdraw cashier’s checks and buy more gift cards.
Mascarinas had access to the committee’s account for years but said she didn’t use it for personal expenses until 2022.
“I love this organization and what it stands for and what it does in this community,” she told police. “And I allowed some stupid men to manipulate me and let this happen to me. And it’s embarrassing.”