South Florida officials, in partnership with the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals, and Postal Inspectors, arrested three people for stealing the identities of Surfside building collapse victims, and using them to run up huge bills. Betsy Alexandra Cacho Medina, 30, Rodney Choute, 38, and Kimberly Michelle Johnson, 34, allegedly used the identities of at least five victims get fake credit and bank cards, according to the Miami Herald. Officials were notified of the fraudulent transactions about a month after the collapse, with victims’ families discovering new credit cards in the names of their late relatives. Authorities then located the suspects using surveillance footage, financial records, and stakeouts.
Nicole Ortiz, whose sister Ana Ortiz died in the collapse alongside Ana’s son and husband, discovered a swath of purchases in her sister’s name as she was writing her sister’s eulogy. Those included Target transactions, Medusa sandals, and a nearly $1,700 Versace purse. “It was crazy,” Nicole said. “These people are professional. Who would do something like this?”