After lying about having terminal breast cancer and collecting almost $130,000 in donations for her treatment, a woman pleaded no contest to grand theft and has been sentenced to six months in county jail, 30 days of community labor, and five years of felony probation. She also has to repay the fraudulently obtained donations.
At the time the scheme began, the woman was around 30 years old and claimed to have stage 4 breast cancer, or cancer that had spread from the original tumor in her breast to other areas of her body.
There was no cancer, though, a prosecutor in Los Angeles told reporters. “There was nothing to indicate she ever actually had the disease,” Deputy District Attorney David Richman told NBC Los Angeles outside of the court.
Some victims say that instead of claiming that she had cancer, she also claimed that she needed money to pay for experimental treatments for her father, who had colon cancer, or that her father had died of colon cancer in 2012. Victims later learned that her father died in 2016 of a heart attack.
Her victims included friends, former boyfriends, and people from her religious community, and the scheme ran from 2010 to 2013. She promised to pay some victims back, and solicited donations for others.
“She said, ‘Can I have money to get better? I’m dying. I need this money to get better.’ No good person is going to say no to that,” one of her victims recounted to NBC Los Angeles back when the scam was first being uncovered.
“I don’t think she is remorseful in the least bit,” an ex-boyfriend who gave her $1,200 for her father’s imaginary colon cancer treatment told the Los Angeles Times.