Woman who died in fall at Nev. hotel faced arrest
Sunday, July 1, 2012
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A woman wanted on fraud and theft charges jumped 35 floors to her death at a Las Vegas hotel just as two criminal investigators entered her room to arrest her, according to law enforcement documents.
A search warrant released Friday shows investigators from the Secretary of State Office's Securities Division forced their way into Elizabeth DeMaria's room at the MGM Grand on Tuesday and saw her throw a laptop computer off the balcony before jumping herself.
DeMaria, 46, was charged in 2010 with 11 counts of fraud and 11 counts of theft. She was accused of conning nine victims out of $200,000 by telling them they were investing in a media company called The Vegas Channel. Authorities say she allegedly bought luxury items for herself instead.
After tracking her to the resort, the investigators knocked and announced their intent to serve a bench warrant for her failure to show at a court-mandated May 10 status check when she was out of jail on bail. A female voice could be heard in the room, but requests to open the door were ignored.
After she jumped, police were called to the scene, and a white stone ring and a brooch were found in the room.
The remains of the computer were recovered, and will be examined for evidence of fraudulent materials and activity.
Documents found on the bed referred to Secretary of State Ross Miller and Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/MxG7LH ). Also found was a U.S. passport under the name Lisa Victoria, the name she used to check into the MGM Grand.
"The passport could be used for international travel, thereby implicating consciousness of guilt," investigators said in their search warrant. "The passport is evidence of a violation of federal law and contraband."
Investigators said DeMaria had been renting the room since the day she failed to appear in court. While staying at the MGM Grand, she posted "disparaging blogs about witnesses related to her criminal prosecution," according to the warrant.
While DeMaria insisted investor funds were only used to develop the media company, authorities say her bank records show the money was deposited into an account under the name Luxury Lifestyles Las Vegas. She withdrew about $125,000 in cash from the account, according to records.
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