California woman pleads guilty in firefighter donation scam

March 5, 2019

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A California woman has pleaded guilty to posing as the wife of a firefighter battling a massive wildfire and bilking people out of thousands of dollars in donations.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday that 28-year-old Ashley Bemis entered a guilty plea Friday to grand theft, burglary and other charges and was sentenced to 177 days in jail.

Authorities say Bemis posed on social media as the wife of a firefighter battling the Holy Fire in the Cleveland National Forest in Orange and Riverside counties last year.

Authorities say she posted photos of herself and her fictitious husband and sought donations for firefighters, collecting more than $2,000 in cash, clothing and supplies.

Bemis’ attorney David Medina says she has expressed remorse for the pain she caused her victims.

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