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O.C. woman accused of lying about husband battling Holy Fire to scam people for donations

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. – Authorities asked the public to come forward if they donated to an Orange County woman who claimed her firefighter husband was battling the Holy Fire.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a woman who is suspected of making up a firefighter husband to scam people into giving money that she would donate to Cal Fire crews, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Ashley Bemis, 28, of San Clemente, received donations including $11,000 in cash, blankets, baby wipes, socks and food between August 10 and August 17, investigators told LA Times. As the investigation continues, Bemis has not been arrested.

Anyone who may have donated gifts or money has been asked to fill out a questionnaire at the OC Sheriff’s Department at the San Clemente office.

“We’re hoping the community will do a good job of coming forward for us so we’re able to present the best case possible [to the Orange County district attorney’s office] to hold this individual accountable for her actions,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Braun told LA Times.

Bemis may have previously fabricated stories to receive sympathy and money from the community, the newspaper reported.

Read more at Los Angeles Times.

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