Authorities Arrest 4 in Connection to Identity Theft Scheme

Authorities Arrest 3 in Connection to Identity Theft Scheme

( – When the Champlain Towers South condominium collapsed in Surfside, Florida, on June 24, first responders sprang into action, spending weeks first searching for victims and then recovering the bodies of those who perished. They exemplify the good qualities we find in humanity. Sadly, there’s an opposing side to be found. Authorities arrested four people who allegedly used the tragedy to enrich themselves.

The Miami-Dade state attorney, Katherine Fernández Rundle, labeled them “cyber grave robbers” for their suspected roles in an identity theft racket using the names of at least seven people from the condo disaster — five dead and two living. Authorities have charged the following in the scheme:

  • Betsy Alexandra Cacho-Medina of North Miami
  • Rodney Choute, also of North Miami — believed to be Cacho-Medina’s boyfriend
  • Kimberly Michelle Johnson of Miami
  • Nelson Ronaldo Garcia-Medina (residence not provided) — the brother of Cacho-Medina

Authorities believe the four of them are well-versed in these sorts of crimes, with Rundle saying, “Except for their names, almost nothing else about them seems to be true.” Allegations include the theft of at least $45,000 and the attempt to get another $67,000.

Several local police departments were involved in the investigation, along with United States Marshals and Secret Service agents who investigated several alleged federal crimes, such as wire fraud and theft of FEMA benefits. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and these four have only been accused of criminal activity by the authorities.

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