Woman who ran nationwide Facebook scam sentenced

Woman who ran nationwide Facebook scam sentenced
Zienup Sbeih-Maddox, 24, of Cleveland appears in court June 24, 2019. (Source: WOIO)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The alleged mastermind involved in scamming hundreds of thousands of dollars from mothers nationwide changed her plea Monday morning.

After a year on the run, Maddox agreed to a plea deal this week that includes spending six years in prison.

Two years ago, Zee, as she called herself to her clients, was running a Facebook group called “Zee’s place.” There, she advertised discounted baby items, diapers, wipes, even Disney trips.

Prosecutors says she often took the money and failed to deliver products.

Maddox ended up on the run after being confronted about the scam by our sister station, WOIO, in Cleveland. During the time she was gone, she was living large using some of the money she got from online customers to visit China, Dubai and Cancun.

Police finally caught up with Maddox at a homeless shelter in Las Vegas. While she was evading police, dozens of victims came forward.

Brittany, a mom of 4 in Prince George County who asked that we not use her last name, also fell victim to the scam.

A few years ago she said she lost $1,200, but she gained invaluable wisdom about shopping online.

“I hope that they realize things are too good to be true. If you have that gut feeling go with it,” said Brittany.

This week, Brittany said she’s happy Zee was finally sentenced, but she doesn’t believe six years is enough.

Brittany knows she’s never going to get her money back, but Brittany says "lesson learned. I am way more cautious now and I only purchase things from a store directly.”

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