MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A woman authorities said stole money from South Florida residents in an internet scam is now facing charges in Louisiana.
According to police, Chrisheen McGee lured victims using a website touting what she claimed was a non-profit organization connected to a church, called “Ride2Freedom”.
Victims were reportedly told they could pay a minimal fee for a warranty that would cover repairs, and in return they’d receive a late model used car, free of charge.
Best friends Rebecca Bratcher and Kimberley Washington of South Florida, paid a total of $500 in administrative fees, expecting to have vehicles delivered to their homes.
“It was affiliated with a church out of Louisiana, and so it was a charity,” said Bratcher, a single mother, “we were excited about it and that somebody was willing to help us.”
Bratcher said when the cars did not arrive, as promised, she and Washington called and emailed the company repeatedly.
“That’s when phone lines started getting disconnected,” Bratcher said, “and websites started going down.”
Jeffrey Bruno, of Ft. Lauderdale, said he paid Ride2Freedom $800 to invest in the operation, expecting to open a franchise in Florida.
Bruno said, “the guy from the company told me the cars were donated by a church and that they’re not trying to make a profit, they’re just trying to help people.”
He, too, said Ride2Freedom representatives stopped returning his calls and emails, and kept his money. Authorities believe other victims may have been scammed as well, and their investigation continues.