LADY'S ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - A couple claiming they were having quintuplets and received thousands of dollars in donations from the community have been arrested for obtaining goods under false pretences.
Nancy Cantu and her boyfriend Juan Solis were arrested by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office at their home around 7:30pm Monday. The Sheriff's Office has been investigating the couple after their claim of having the quintuplets gained large amounts of media and community attention.
It was through this investigation that authorities say they discovered the couple's claims were false and Cantu is not pregnant. Sheriff's investigators report this was confirmed by an ultrasound examination Friday at Beaufort Memorial Hospital.
"We interviewed her last Friday, she received gifts on Sunday," said Beaufort County sheriff PJ Tanner. "So even after a law enforcement interview and to a degree her admission she in fact was not pregnant, we couldn't believe that so that's when we had to require an ultrasound for proof."
The couple was asking for money and other donations for their expected children. Deputies say they received anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 in gifts and money and could face up to five years in prison if convicted for this felony charge.
News about the couple's arrest traveled quickly especially to those who donated items to them, like local business owner. Dwayne Hinkle. "They said they were needing things, they got a washer and dryer, TV, everything else and they really didn't need it," said Hinkle. "It was just mind boggling to think how would someone have the nerve to do that."
Over at Beaufort High School, members of the National Honors Society feel the same way. They raised $500 for the couple but luckily hadn't handed over any of the donations.
Bond was set at $25,000 at a hearing Tuesday morning. The pair remain in the Beaufort County jail.
Additionally, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has since been notified of the case and will be following up in efforts not only to help confirm the couple's identity, but also to determine their immigration status. Both Cantu and Solis claim to have originally immigrated from Mexico.
If you have given to the couple, the sheriff's office needs you to come forward. You can call Investigator Jeff Purdy at 843.470.3483.