Police: Woman created fake firefighter husband; collected $11K in donations

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.  — A California 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.

According to police, Bemis collected donated items at drop-off locations. Residents took notice and warned others to stop donating,

“I am in shock. That is all I can say,” said Shaylee Florentino, neighbor.

Detectives confirmed this isn’t the first time Bemis has been accused of running a scheme like this. They said 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 a nanny for, according to authorities.

A search warrant was executed on Bemis’ apartment and garages, and investigators found $11,000 in donated items.

They believe there are more victims out there and ask anyone with information to contact authorities.