A $12,000 electric bill? Dramatic case questions who used the power

Posted at 6:25 PM, Oct 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-10 20:59:56-04

A $12,000 electric bill? That will certainly get your attention! But there's much more to this for a woman in Bedford Heights. Throw in claims of identity theft and problems with an apartment building and it’s a mess. But the biggest question: who really is responsible for that ridiculous bill?

"My bills have never been behind. I was just really shocked," said Marcia Kimbrough who used to own an apartment building that sat on East 139th St. in Cleveland. There were four units total that she said had separate electric meters. Apartment 1 somehow racked up that $12,000 electric bill during an 11-year span.

It was a bill attributed to Kimbrough. She called the Illuminating Company. "(I) followed their instructions and called the Federal Trade Commission because someone had placed a service in (my) name,” recalled Kimbrough.

The Illuminating Company told us it doesn't have the necessary paperwork from the FTC about Kimbrough's call.

Kimbrough told me someone used her maiden name Marcia Young for the service, and now she's stuck with the bill. We got our hands on the police report she filed about the crime. "I never resided in Apartment 1,” she told us.

The Illuminating Company said it had Kimbrough’s social security number for the electric service and it believes she is solely responsible for the bill. The company also said over the years it tried to get into the building to read the meters but couldn't get the residents to cooperate.

Kimbrough has a different story. "As a matter of fact, they were even given a key at that time to gain access to the 4 meters."

Kimbrough's mom questions the Illuminating Company. "I don't know anywhere that you can continue to get the service to the tune of that kind of money and not be disconnected,” said Barbara Young.

The electric company told me there was sporadic cooperation of payment, so it thought things would be resolved.

Kimbrough told us they never talked to her. "These were not services I used or requested."

So how do you resolve this? In a court of law.

There’s a lawsuit filed against Kimbrough, and she now has to get an attorney by the end of the month.