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Hatch woman, son facing fraud charges over fake parking fees


HATCH, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a woman and her son are facing fraud charges for an alleged parking scheme outside the annual Hatch Chile Festival earlier this month. Hatch Police say 68-year-old Celeste Zimmerman and 31-year-old Raymond Swingle allegedly collected more than $4,000 in fake parking fees from festival-goers. They say Zimmerman and Swingle both have been arrested and booked into the Doña Ana County jail. According to Albuquerque TV station KOB, court documents showed the committee that organizes the festival decided against parking fees because they aren’t allowed to charge for parking off public roads or on school grounds. KOB says Swingle allegedly was seen demanding $10 from people to park and reportedly blocked cars until they paid up.