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OffbeatCalifornia Woman Fabricated Firefighter Husband to Scam Donors: Police

23:20  19 december  2018
23:20  19 december  2018 Source:   thedailybeast.com

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A California woman who allegedly wore prosthetics to fake a pregnancy is now accused of fabricating a firefighter husband to scam people during the Holy Fire southeast of Los Angeles last month, police said. Ashley Bemis, 28, collected at least ,000 in goods and cash starting Aug.

A San Clemente, California , woman is suspected of scamming thousands of dollars from donors by fabricating a story that she was married to a A San Clemente, California , woman is being accused of making up a nonexistent firefighter husband in order to scam locals out of donations .

California Woman Fabricated Firefighter Husband to Scam Donors: Police© Provided by The Daily Beast Orange County Sheriff’s Department

Ashley Bemis’ Facebook friends thought she needed help.

The 28-year-old said her husband, a firefighter, was battling to contain one of the massive blazes that swept across California in August while she was struggling at home, still reeling from three failed pregnancies.

Bemis claimed that she was raising money for firefighters, like her husband, who were battling the Holy Fire as it raged through Orange and Riverside counties, forcing thousands to evacuate. Her situation, often well-documented on Facebook, prompted multiple Good Samaritans to send her more than $2,000 worth of donations, including cash and “items like socks, sports drinks, water, and camping equipment, from individuals, stores and companies,” authorities say.

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A woman from California is accused of using a massive wildfire to scam donors out of thousands of dollars in cash and supplies. Police say Ashley Bemis pretended online that she had a firefighter husband . She collected ,000 in cash and supplies under the ruse that they would go to fire crews

A California woman has been accused of scamming people out of ,000 after claiming that her husband has been risking his life to battle the However, some of the donors became suspicious of Bemis and reported her to authorities. They did a search of California firefighters and could not find

Little did these donors know that Bemis’ sob story—and supposedly good cause—was nothing more than a scam, authorities allege.

Following a three-month investigation into the 28-year-old’s outlandish claims, Bemis was arrested and charged Tuesday night with felony grand theft, second-degree burglary, witness intimidation, and making false financial statements, police said.

Authorities allege the San Juan Capistrano resident concocted a nonexistent firefighter husband and a trio of fake pregnancies to swindle donors out of thousands of dollars in cash and goods.

“Bemis created the fictitious husband with the intention of soliciting donations to defraud victims,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement. “They also became aware, through additional social media posts from members of the community, of past fraudulent activity by Bemis, including multiple prior faked pregnancies in an attempt to illegally obtain money from unsuspecting victims.”

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A 28-year-old woman made up having a husband who was fighting California ’s historic wildfires, cops say. Ashley Bemis posted on Facebook earlier this year

California woman accused of creating fake… A San Clemente woman with a history of alleged bizarre scams , including a faked pregnancy, is suspected of creating a nonexistent husband to bilk good Samaritans out of at least ,000 in donations she claimed would help firefighters during the

Authorities say they were first alerted to Bemis on August 17, after a local fire captain saw her posts and became suspicious.

Her posts, both on her personal Facebook page and on a group named San Clemente Life, claimed that she was married to a Cal Fire firefighter named Shane Goodman.

Goodman, Bemis claimed, was working on the front lines of the Holy Fire—which torched more than 23,000 acres—and his crew needed supplies, according to a search warrant affidavit.

“My Shane works for Cal Fire and is out on the Holy Fire right now,” she wrote on Facebook, according to court documents. “I also have two other family members and many friends out on this fire and other fires burning here in California. I received a text today from Shane saying it’s pretty much a living hell out there battling the unpredictable ‘Holy Hell Fire.’”

She added: “I wanted to put it out there to everyone and say I will happily meet you and pick up any donation to the firefighters and first responders that are on the front lines right now.”

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A woman who once allegedly faked her own pregnancy by wearing prosthetics to simulate a growing belly is now being accused of scamming Good Samaritans out of at least ,000 by concocting a story that her husband fought the recent California wildfires.

A woman from California is accused of using a massive wildfire to scam donors out of thousands of dollars in cash and supplies. Police say Ashley Bemis pretended online that she had a firefighter husband . She collected ,000 in cash and supplies under the ruse that they would go to fire crews

Bemis also posted a detailed list of items she alleged Cal Fire fighters needed, such as air mattresses, socks, T-shirts, underwear, bottled water, baby wipes, according to court documents. She even provided the addresses of four drop-off locations in San Clemente.

But her story had inconsistencies—especially when she mentioned the three failed pregnancies—and victims alerted authorities when they saw items they had donated being resold for profit, court records allege.

In September, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department launched an investigation into Bemis, and her story began to unravel.

“It’s a strange case for sure,” Sheriff’s Department Lt. Mike Peters told The Daily Beast Wednesday. “It just kept growing as investigators turned over new rocks. It was very complicated because of the intricacies of her behavior.”

Investigators quickly learned that there was no firefighter named Shane Goodman who was employed by Cal Fire or any other fire department in the United States, Peters said.

As for the donations, while Bemis did deliver a few of the donated items to the Holy Fire command post in Irvine, searches of her home, vehicle, and garages revealed that hundreds of donated items were secretly stashed in her apartment garage.

Woman arrested for alleged California wildfire scam

Woman arrested for alleged California wildfire scam Authorities have arrested a woman they say posed as the wife of a firefighter battling Southern California's massive Holy Fire and bilked people out of thousands of dollars in donations. 

Police are investigating a Southern California woman who allegedly exploited last month's Holy Fire by posing as a fireman ’s wife in a scheme to bilk She said Bemis’ list included items that firefighters would “never use.” Brady also told police that firefighters deployed to battle the Holy Fire were given

Home Careers & Education Police : CA Woman Fabricated FF Husband . Detectives used a national database to determine no firefighter exists by the name of Shane Goodman either employed Several people who know Bemis told the Southern California News Group they believe Bemis wore a “baby

“We believe she did that so the the alleged scam appeared legitimate,” he said of her donations to the command post.

In November, Bemis appeared on The Dr. Phil Show, responding to the allegations that she’d been pretending to be the wife of a firefighter.

“It’s true that I’ve been accused of that. That’s not what my goal was,” she said. “I was trying to honestly help the firefighters.”

Investigators also allege that Bemis, a former babysitter, faked three pregnancies in the past to scam people out of money on Facebook.

“My first experience with Ashley was in 2012, when she faked a pregnancy by wearing graduating pregnancy suits for 9 months, claiming that her husband Shane had died of a terminal illness, and that her first 2-year-old child had died of a heart defect,” one of her victims wrote on Facebook, according to court documents.

The post continued: “She was all alone so we all rallied around her, and the ladies even threw her a baby shower, where she gladly accepted our gifts.”

Another victim, Emily Strickland, said she hired Bemis as a nanny for her son in 2010 through an online service, according to court records. About 14 months later, Bemis told Strickland she was pregnant, and while her stomach seemed to be growing, Strickland said she saw Bemis remove a pillow from her clothing one evening.

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A California woman allegedly made up the existence of a firefighter husband to bilk ,000 from unsuspecting donors , police said. Authorities said Ashley Bemis, 28, of San Clemente, conducted the elaborate scheme on social media to swindle ,000 in cash and gifts out of charitable donors , the

A woman is accused of scamming donors out of thousands. As hundreds of firefighters worked around the clock to contain the destructive Holy Fire in Orange and Riverside counties, law enforcement said a woman worked to scam dozens of generous people.

“It kind of started my suspicions,” she told The Mercury News in September.

Strickland, who is named in a search-warrant affidavit, also alleges that Bemis began taking her son to a local Gymboree, where she told people she was the boy’s mother. She even posted photos of him, sometimes dressed up in girls’ clothing, on two of her Facebook pages, Strickland said.

On Wednesday, Stickland told The Daily Beast she is pleased that Bemis is being “held accountable for her actions.”

“I am happy she is where she belongs so that she can’t victimize others,” she said.

Bemis, who could not be reached for comment, was arrested at her home on Tuesday and booked into the Orange County Jail, where she is being held on $50,000 bail. She is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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