SAN CLEMENTE (CBSLA) — A San Clemente community is shocked after learning a local woman is accused of running a scheme to bilk thousands of dollars from people seeking to help firefighters battling the Holy Fire.
Detectives say Ashley Bemis pretended to be married to a firefighter and posted a call for donations for firefighters battling the blaze; they say she ran the alleged scheme on Facebook until authorities got involved.READ MORE: 'Smallville' Actor Allison Mack Enters Prison In NXIVM Sex Slave Case
Detectives say Bemis collected donated items at drop-off locations throughout South County. Residents took notice and warned others to stop donating,
“I am in shock. That is all I can say,” neighbor Shaylee Florentino said.READ MORE: LA County Sheriff's Employee Killed, Woman Hurt After Vintage Sports Car Careens Into Pole In Temple City
Detectives confirmed this isn’t the first time Bemis has been accused of running a scheme. They say she pretended to be pregnant, even using a fake baby bump to have pictures taken in another instance. Other Facebook posts appear to show Bemis pretending to be the birth mother of children she was nannying, according to authorities.
Detectives executed a search warrant on Bemis’ apartment and garages and found $11,000 in donated items.MORE NEWS: LA Officially Bids To Host Games For 2026 World Cup
They believe there are more victims out there and ask anyone with information to contact authorities.