A Florida woman is being accused of running a crime ring that billed thousands of dollars of cosmetic work to unsuspecting identity theft victims, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
When women wanted dental work or plastic surgery done but couldn't pay, they contacted Terilyn Riggins, who in less than a year scammed victims out of more than $50,000, police say.
"The plastic surgery was tummy tucks, breast implants, breast reductions, the Brazilian whatever—whatever you could get with plastic surgery, that's what they were getting done," Orlando Police Detective Todd Herb told the Sentinel.
Herb, who has been investigating the matter, said that after almost nine months, things are finally wrapping up. He's arrested at least 14 women, most from Pine Hills, Fla., and identified more than a dozen identity theft victims.
All of the arrested women are accused of using stolen identities to get or attempt to get some form of cosmetic work done at legitimate offices across Central Florida, the Sentinel reports.
Riggins, 28, is facing charges of identity theft, scheme to defraud and grand theft of more than $20,000. She is described by authorities as the ringleader who worked "day and night" to organize the thefts using the stolen information.
The women to whom she provided the information were friends, people she met online or in jail, who sometimes paid a small fee or offered to do her hair or cook her food, authorities say.
In exchange, Riggins allegedly would get into the victims' credit card accounts and add the other suspects as "authorized users." She then let the women know, and they'd visit the plastic surgeon or dentist of their choosing and provide the information, saying that they were a relative of the cardholder. The office would verify that they were on the account, which by that point they were, and start the medical procedure.
The bills were then sent to the victims, several of whom were between 19 and 24 years old, according to the Sentinel. The victims either alerted their bank or ignored the bill. For those victims who ignored the bill, the charge was sent to collections, ruining their credit and leaving an even bigger mess to deal with.
Read more at the Orlando Sentinel.