GUATEMALA CITY – A 60-year-old U.S. citizen under arrest in Guatemala on extortion charges says she's the victim of identity theft.
Debra Lee Gish of Washington, D.C., said Friday that two years ago she was assaulted by criminals who stole her identification and used it to open a Guatemalan bank account in her name where they collected two extortion payments from bus companies. She said she was not even in Guatemala during one of the deposits attributed to her. She said she never opened the bank account.
Guatemalan police arrested Gish on Wednesday at her home in Santiago Atitlan, 150 kilometers (90 miles) from the capital. She was hospitalized after falling ill following her arrest.
Gish has worked as a consultant on justice projects in Guatemala since 1998.