CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Accused Facebook scammer Zienup Sbeih may not have acted alone in what's reportedly a nationwide scam operation.
Several victims have told us they purchased items, like baby car seats, diapers and Disney trips through "Zee" but in some cases, paid another woman for the items they never received.
We're not revealing the name of the woman, who police say is a "person of interest" in their investigation of Zienup or "Zee's" Facebook scam. Police say she is not a suspect at this time, and very well be yet another victim of the woman suspected of ripping off women coast to coast.
Here is a photo of the person of interest shown in this photo, with Zienup Sbeih, the main suspect.
Here's what we know:
Zee and the person of interest are more than casual acquaintances. Here's a photo of the person of interest getting into her SUV a couple weeks ago. It's the same vehicle Zee exited just moments earlier before dashing off, away from our cameras.
Some of the moms who purchased goods from Zee say they made payments for their items directly to the other woman through Facebook messenger, or received packages in the mail with the woman listed as the sender . Transactions were made through Facebook Messenger and Chase Quick Pay.
On a Facebook page dedicated to Zee's victims, some of the women claim they were told by police that the other woman was somehow involved. In an email to our investigative team, the person of interest told us she is "cooperating with police" and claims she "did not know what Zienup was up too, and did not condone it." She also says she is "truly disgusted at what Zee has done."
Meantime, Zee's legal troubles continue to mount. She's been on the run since mid-July, after a warrant was issued for her arrest on charges of Telecommunications Fraud and Theft. This, after our investigation revealed she'd allegedly ripped off consumers in more than 40 states, for more than $200,000 dollars out of her CMHA apartment in Cleveland.
Last week, Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority confirmed Zienup Sbeih could soon face criminal charges for defrauding the public housing authority. In an e-mail, CMHA's spokesperson told us they're preparing to present information to a county grand jury that could result in an indictment. As we reported earlier, Zee's income, may have far exceeded government income limits
Cleveland police and the Bureau of Criminal Investigations are still searching for Zee, but won't say if the search extends beyond Northeast Ohio. Cleveland Police aren't saying much, only that information relative to the warrant and the search is law enforcement sensitive.
Many victims have been co-operating with law enforcement, giving statements to investigators and filling out an investigative questionnaire sent out by the Office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who oversees the BCI.
Zienup Sbeih remains on the run, while moms from coast to coast wait for justice.
Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts is asked to contact Cleveland Police at 216-621-1234. Anonymous tips can be phoned in to Crime Stoppers at 216-252-7463 or via text message. Text TIPS657 plus your message to Crimes (274637). Tips can also be called into the BCI tip line at 855-BCI-OHIO or (855-224-6336)
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