Cleveland mom charged in nationwide Facebook scam captured

Published: Aug. 13, 2018 at 4:21 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2018 at 7:12 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - After more than a year eluding law enforcement, a Cleveland woman wanted for running a lucrative scam on social media is now in custody.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has confirmed Zienup Sbeih-Maddox, 24, was arrested on August 1.

Sbeih-Maddox is currently being held in Nevada on a warrant issued by the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority last September.

Mug shot of Zienup Sbeih-Maddox (Source: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

Cleveland 19 Chief Investigator Carl Monday was first to expose Sbeih-Maddox in June 2017.

Sbeih-Maddox is accused of using Facebook to scam hundreds of people across the United States and Canada out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. She ran a Facebook group called "Zee's Place," where she sold everything from heavily discounted baby products to Disney vacations.

Many of the victims who belonged to the group say Sbeih-Maddox never delivered the goods they had purchased.

RELATED: Alleged Cleveland Facebook scam costs moms $200,000+ across U.S.

Investigators say Sbeih-Maddox pulled in over $200,000 as part of the scam. At the same time, she was living in public housing in Cleveland and paying less than $80 per month in rent.

On Sept. 25, 2017, a Cuyahoga County grand jury indited Sbeih-Maddox on felony charges of grand theft, theft and tampering with records. The Cleveland Division of Police also issued a warrant for Sbeih-Maddox's arrest on July 28, 2017 after charging her with telecommunications fraud and theft.

RELATED: CMHA Police, federal agents raid home of accused nationwide Facebook scammer Zienup Sbeih

While it is still unknown where Sbeih-Maddox spent most of the last 12 months that she had been wanted by police, Cleveland 19 News can confirm that she had been living under an alias at a Las Vegas homeless shelter since May.

Photo of Zienup Sbeih-Maddox taken July 14, 2018 (Source: Facebook)

Speaking under the condition of anonymity, current and former residents of the Shannon West Homeless Youth Center said Sbeih-Maddox was using the name Spencer Stevenson. They say the 24-year-old told residents that she was 18 and that she had recently been kicked out of foster care in California.

The residents also claim Sbeih-Maddox had a lot of money and was always buying new things, which they said they found unusual for someone who was living in a homeless shelter.

RELATED: Wanted Cleveland Facebook scammer used moms' money to fund jet-set lifestyle

A hearing for Sbeih-Maddox has been scheduled for Sept. 10 in Las Vegas.

Stay with Cleveland 19 News for updates as this story continues to develop.

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