Texas woman convicted of scamming San Jose associate

SAN JOSE – A Texas woman has been convicted of scamming a San Jose associate out of $2,000 for a Pomeranian puppy that never truly existed, prosecutors said.

Elizabeth Montes, 44, of San Antonio, was convicted of felony conspiracy and theft on March 14, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Tuesday. She faces six months in county jail when she is sentenced on Oct. 11.

Prosecutors said the DA’s Bureau of Investigations Unit traced the origins of the scam to the Central African country of Cameroon.

Investigators discovered that Montes opened accounts with Zelle – an online money transferring service – by various edges and was receiving money from victims who purchased puppies by skylightpomeranian.com and Trans-Pet Express, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the victims never received the puppies, and bank records showed Montes connected to more than 75 victims.

In April 2020, the San Jose associate sent $600 by Zelle to buy “Jake,” a teacup-sized Pomeranian puppy listed for sale on skylightpomeranian.com, prosecutors said.

Everything appeared normal in the contract and shipping information, prosecutors said, but the associate then received an email instructing them to send an additional $1,400 to the seller to avoid having the puppy held in a two-week COVID-19 quarantine.

When the associate received another email demanding an additional $1,300 for a permit, they realized they were being scammed and reported the crime, prosecutors said.

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