MANHATTAN BEACH (CBS) — An unlikely con artist is under arrest after a Lancaster woman she ripped off helped police find her through Facebook.

Stephanie Younger says the woman she knew as Gia Hendricks came across as chic and wealthy. She claimed to be looking for an assistant to attend Hollywood events for her modeling agency.

“She had a couple of designers that she was wearing,” says Younger. “Anyone would have been fooled.”

Younger took the job and gave Hendricks her bank account information for payroll purposes. Hendricks issued Younger paychecks and asked her to withdraw surplus amounts. The checks bounced and Hendricks disappeared.

After finding information posted online by other victims, Younger created a Facebook profile and set up her own sting operation to help cops bust Hendricks.

A joint investigation between Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach police resulted in the arrest Tuesday of the 40-year-old woman. She is charged with fraud, forgery, and identity theft.

“It relieves me a lot,” says Younger. “Because I know she’s not doing it to other people.”

Police say Gia Hendricks is just one of many aliases used by Maria Christina Johnson. She is wanted in Washington and Oregon for similar crimes.

Investigators ask anyone with information that could help this case to contact the Manhattan Beach Police Department.

Comments (12)
  1. Chris says:

    Hang her and then Burn Her! Freak!

  2. Robin says:

    Really that’s a really old scam and someone fell for it.. Here put my check in your account and give me money back wow really what a stupid person…,,

  3. stephanie says:

    yeah im a stupid person, thats why i caught her. i was only 19 years old. grow up. it has happened to more than 20 people., go figure.

    1. VFR says:

      This is her ex-husband, we would personally like to thank you for putting Maria behind bars, please contact me at

    2. susie says:

      Can anyone confirm if Maria is in jail and where?

      1. Betty says:

        Check the LA county jail roster, she is booked under Gia Hendricks.

  4. stephanie says:

    and i didnt take money out, she did through direct deposit. :/ be careful who you work for, it may happen to you next.

    1. STEPHANIE says:

      I was stupid enough to let her take my money.your right.I was 19 and just as dumb as I am now..I couldnt wait to comment on my 15 minutes of fame and I feel ripped off because I was gonna get a cut of the money but since I didnt, I turn her in…I am so stupid and 19

  5. Villaraigosa is a rat! says:

    Trust No Biatch!

  6. wgaf says:

    This lady is hideous. I would never want to work for her. If she looked like Rosie O’DonnelI I would be all over her and let her take advantage of me.

  7. Buzz says:

    I love me some fatty chicks..gonna email vinyl fluidrecords and get a date with stephanie cuz she is dumb enough to believe anything…

    thats why they want you to email them..if you belive the woman, he knows youll believe him and be a good time…moron

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