FORT LAUDERDALE – Ana Maria Cordero-Noriega waited outside of stores in South Florida to prey on victims, police said.
Lie, after lie, she convinced them to give her cash, and go on shopping sprees that included electronics, luxury watches and clothes at stores like Macy's and Best Buy.
It all started with a winning lottery ticket. Victims told police Cordero-Noriega, 34, said that because she was an undocumented migrant, she needed help to cash it.
Her accomplice, victims said, impersonated a lottery representative. The problem: The lottery representative needed cash to help them cash the ticket. In exchange for the victim's cash loan, Cordero-Noriega promised she would share a portion of her winnings, police said.
It was a tempting deal for many. Officers finally caught up to her on Wednesday.
Police arrested her for allegedly defrauding a victim she met outside of a Sedano's supermarket in Pembroke Pines on Sept. 25th.
Cordero-Noriega told an 83-year-old woman she would get $30,000 for her help. The victim went to the bank and applied for a loan. She was approved.
After a shopping spree, Cordero-Noriega and two accomplices took off with $17,000 in cash and some merchandise. They dropped her off in front of the Sedano's.
Records show Cordero-Noriega has cases pending in Miami-Dade and Orange County. And she is facing charges of organized fraud, grand theft of the second degree, grand theft to a 65-year-old and older, unlawful use of false name or identity, false representation of ownership and dealing in stolen property.
Her bond was set at $250,000 Thursday.