Remember this woman? Hundreds of moms across the country say she used Facebook to sell items they claim they never received.
Zienup Sbeih is still selling online despite being under investigation by Cleveland Police and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
A stay at home mom who sells makeup on the side for extra cash says she was ripped off by the same woman, Zienup Sbeih, and her own business was nearly destroyed.
Despite currently being under investigation by local and state law enforcement, our investigative team has learned the alleged scammer is still out there, wheeling and dealing on buy-sell-trade sites. Recently, our team came across her in an unexpected place.
Each Wednesday, Perk Plaza in downtown Cleveland transforms into a food truck paradise, giving downtown workers more than a dozen dining options in one of the city’s newest renovated green spaces.
If you work at Cleveland 19, you don’t have to go very far to grab lunch at Walnut Wednesday, because it’s right across the street from the station.
That’s why we were so surprised to see Zienup Sbeih standing in line for a smoothie recently, just steps away from our studios.
If she was trying to keep a low profile, it didn’t work. Someone dress from head to toe in a sweat suit on a nearly 90 degree day was hard to miss. We tried to question her, but she took off running, once again.
As we first told you back in May, until recently the 23-year-old ran a Facebook group called “Zee’s Place”, where she sold everything from baby diapers to Disney vacations at deep discounts.
Hundreds of moms across the U.S. and Canada claim they purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of goods from “Zee”, but never received them.
Moms like Brittany in Virginia, says she dropped $900 on toys and diapers for her four children but didn’t receive most of what she bought.
“I’m an educated woman. I have my degree. I should have known better than this” says Brittany.
What Brittany did receive, was a bunch of excuses, when she asked Zee for a refund. When Zee eventually sent Brittany refund checks – that Brittany says couldn’t be cashed. “I got her check, but she never signed it. Never signed it” says Brittany.
Brittany also sells makeup on the side and has an account on Square Pay. Zee refunded some of Brittany’s money thought Square. Two weeks later, Brittany got an email from Square saying Zee claimed the charges were “unauthorized.” Square took the money back and closed her account saying she was partaking in “risky business.” The closure caused hundreds in overdraft fees, and Brittany is out about $12,000.
While “Zee’s Place” has been shut down by Facebook, some of Zee’s alleged victims say she is still selling items on resale sites like Offer Up, Mercari, and Poshmark. She is also found in local buy-sell-trade groups on Facebook, operating under fake names. Sometimes using the exact same pictures of items she was selling on sites as “Zee.”
Last month, investigators searched Zee’s Cleveland home and removed several toys and baby items, but have not charged her with a crime. Authorities have not yet issued a warrant for her arrest. So why has this case been dragging on for months? That’s what many of Zee’s alleged victims, who are anxious for justice, want to know.
Cleveland’s Public Safety Director, Michael McGrath, recently sent a letter to one woman who says Zee scammed her out of nearly $10,000. In the letter, McGrath states there are “approximately 145 victims throughout the United States” who are currently working with investigators. McGrath adds that it will “take a while for the investigation to be over.”
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