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Three Arrested for Theft of Identities of Champlain Towers Victims

Credit: Unsplash

In July, following the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida, one of the victims’ relatives discovered unauthorized financial activities related to their deceased sibling’s identity. A new credit card had been issued in their name, and various unauthorized wire transfers were made from their account without recognition by the family.

Three individuals, namely Betsy Alexandra Cacho Medina, Rodney Choute, and Kimberly Michelle Johnson, were apprehended for stealing the identities of at least seven deceased victims of the condo collapse. They used this information to acquire credit cards, conduct wire transfers, and spend an approximate total of $45,000 in their victims’ names. Their purchases included items like Nordstrom sandals and a Versace purse.

Local law enforcement successfully located the perpetrators at an abandoned apartment they utilized as a delivery location for online purchases. The address was identified through a car plate captured in shopping mall security footage.

Florida State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle labelled the suspects as professional identity thieves, highlighting their adeptness in the field. She emphasized that beyond their names, much of their identity information was fabricated, including falsifying social security cards.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava criticized the offenders for their lack of respect towards the deceased victims and commended law enforcement for their efforts in apprehending them. She expressed gratitude for the team’s dedication to bringing justice and peace to those already affected by the tragic event.

The suspects are currently facing bond amounts of $1 million for Medina, $500,000 for Johnson, and $430,000 for Choute.

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