Woman Held on $2 Million Bail After Accused of Stealing Thousands From Victims She Met Online

By Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou is a tech reporter who has written about drones, artificial intelligence, and space exploration.
May 9, 2016 Updated: May 10, 2016

A 43-year-old woman with a previous conviction of identity theft was arrested recently for assuming the identities of people she met online and stealing thousands of dollars from them. 

Maria Christina Johnson allegedly met people through dating websites, then stole their identities, which she use to finance a lavish lifestyle, living in high-end hotels and frequenting clubs. She even tried to purchase a car with the money. 

The total expenses Johnson incurred using her victims’ identities could add up to $250,000.

Johnson would gain entry to her victim’s homes, take their personal information, and use that to open new lines of credit without their permission. 

She was nabbed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and is currently being held in jail with bail set at $2 million. 

Johnson had a string of felony convictions between 1997 and 2008, and she has already served a prison term for identity theft, grand theft, and credit card fraud. 

Police caught up to her when she was staying at a luxury hotel in Santa Barbara in March 2016. She had spent more than $100,000 there, and the total expenses she incurred using her victims’ identities could add up to $250,000. 

Jonathan Zhou is a tech reporter who has written about drones, artificial intelligence, and space exploration.