HOUSTON — Federal authorities say they’ve arrested a Houston woman who collected ransoms from people who believed their children were kidnapped and that the money had to be paid to get them released.

Thirty-four-year-old Yanette Rodriguez Acosta was taken into custody Thursday after being indicted two days earlier on charges including conspiracy to commit wire fraud. It’s not clear if she has a lawyer.

Authorities say she conspired with others in Mexico in a “virtual kidnapping” scheme in which they called people in California, Idaho and Texas. They say two victims from 2015 were told their daughters were kidnapped because they witnessed a crime and that the daughters’ fingers would be cut off if the parents didn’t follow demands.

Those parents made money drops in Houston totaling $28,000.

There were no actual kidnappings, and it’s not clear how victims were targeted.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.