Jayrol Abrego said things were finally getting better in his life. He’d been working for an electric company for a year. He got partial custody of his 12- and 15-year-old kids. His girlfriend was finally feeling better after a few surgeries, he told The Palm Beach Post Saturday afternoon.
Then, he said, he threw it all away.
“There was no way I was getting away with it,” he said. “It was a spur of the moment, idiotic decision.”
Abrego, 34, was arrested this week after his employer, Freshwater Electric, said he stole thousands of dollars using a company credit card to gamble. Credit card statements provided by the company to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office investigators revealed over the course of three days Agrego spent more than $5,700 at the Palm Beach Kennel Club. He was arrested Wednesday on charges of grand theft and released on bail the next day.
Since then, Abrego said he’s stayed in bed as calls and texts from friends and family flood him trying to figure out what was going through his mind: Why would you something like this? You have a good job, they said. He said he knows he needs to get help for his gambling addiction, even though it’s still hard to admit to himself.
“I kind of still want to say I don’t have a problem,” Abrego said in a phone interview. “But now I feel alone and I’m just very remorseful.”
On Saturday afternoon, he sent The Post an “open letter to friends and family” in which he apologized.
“Nothing I can say can make up for what I have done but I truly am sorry for my actions and the decisions I have made. My actions took advantage of my friends and family’s trust,” he wrote. “Even though I feel ashamed and depressed about the situation I have put myself in, I will not hide or seclude myself, I will face the consequences.”
Abrego said in a phone interview he doesn’t remember when he started gambling, but it was the rush that kept him going.
“Toward the end (before his arrest,) just being able to gamble was high enough even if I was losing,” he said. “I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, this was the one addiction that got hold of me.”