Scammers stole identities of Florida building collapse victims: cops

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Scammers stole identities of Florida building collapse victims: cops

A crew of cold-blooded scammers stole the identities of seven victims of the deadly Florida condominium collapse — to take out credit cards and go on shopping sprees, police said Wednesday.

Miami-Dade prosecutors were set to announce the arrests Wednesday, WPLG-TV reported.

“I can’t wait to put a face to these deeds right now, and I think all of South Florida is eager to see who would do something like this,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told the station.

“What kind of person would do something like this?” the mayor said. “I wouldn’t want to be that person right now.”

The Miami Herald identified the three suspects as Betsy Alexandra Cacho Medina, 30, Rodney Choute, 38, and Kimberly Michelle Johnson, 34.

The sister of one condo collapse victim told the Herald she began to notice activity on her sister’s bank accounts the night before her funeral.

A woman cries as she visits a makeshift memorial where the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South building stood in Surfside, Florida.
A woman cries as she visits a makeshift memorial where the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South building stood in Surfside, Florida.
AFP via Getty Images
Search and rescue crews work diligently to find and recover as many as possible from the south Champlain Tower on June 24, 2021.
Search and rescue crews work diligently to find and recover as many as possible from the south Champlain Tower on June 24, 2021.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
According to relatives of those lost in the Champlain Towers, People are using their relatives bank accounts to go on shopping sprees.
According to relatives of those lost in the Champlain Towers, people are using their relatives’ bank accounts to go on shopping sprees.
AFP via Getty Images
Officials are still investigating what caused the collapse of the Champlain Towers, but have concluded that part of it was due to corrosion at the base of the structure.
Officials are still investigating what caused the collapse of the Champlain Towers, but have concluded that part of it was due to corrosion at the base of the structure.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Surfside Mayor Charles W. Burkett condemned the scammers saying that it was a horrible thing for them to do.
Surfside Mayor Charles W. Burkett condemned the scammers, saying it was a horrible thing for them to do.
Carl Juste/Miami Herald via AP

“I was home writing the eulogy,” the woman told the outlet. “I don’t know why, but I looked down. I saw notifications from Wells Fargo. I saw emails with money transfers.

“I didn’t even know she had a Wells Fargo account,” she said. “It was crazy. These people are professional. Who would do something like that?”

Miami-Dade officials are still investigating the cause of the controversial building collapse on June 24, which made international headlines as hundreds of first responders spent weeks sifting through the rubble — but found no survivors.

Investigators have found signs of extensive corrosion in the ruins.

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