An American woman was accused of having simulated cancer to defraud sympathizers on £ 7,800 for non-existent treatment.
Jessica Smith, 31, of Pennsylvania, is accused of fraud and falsification of medical documents, authorities said.
According to a complaint filed last week, Ms. Smith reportedly created two online fundraisers on GoFundMe and Facebook, calling for donations to help pay health care bills. She would then have been diagnosed with colon cancer.
The GoFundMe page read as follows: "Jessica faces huge medical expenses, travel expenses, caring for her children and loss of work."
ABC News reports that the campaign was removed from the site and that it was banned. He has raised £ 3,700 since its inception on June 10th.
Fundraising on Facebook raised £ 6,700. She reportedly collected more than £ 7,800 from the two campaigns.
She created the campaigns under her maiden name, Jessica Veronica Cornell, authorities announced.
The authorities were informed of the fundraiser after her husband, Robert Smith, was informed and an acquaintance reported the campaigns to the Uwchlan Township Police Department on June 19.
Detective Sergeant Steven Benson wrote in the criminal complaint: "To the best of her knowledge, she does not believe that Jessica Smith has been diagnosed with cancer in any form whatsoever."
Mr. Smith told the police: "To his knowledge, his wife is not suffering from any cancer and is covered by her health insurance through her employer".
He also provided copies of bank statements from the couple's joint current account that indicated "a continuous pattern of electronic filings" entering the account.
On September 12, Ms. Smith was stopped by the police for questioning.
Police questioned her about her medical diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
She reportedly told the police that she had been diagnosed with colon cancer in May and was currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
& # 39; FALSE DOCUMENTS & # 39;
Ms. Smith would also have told them that she had been removed 16 inches from her colon showing an "indefinite document" stating that she had undergone surgery.
She is charged with theft by deception and other counts related to the robbery and is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing on November 12.
Mike Noone, acting attorney for Chester County, told ABC Philadelphia: "She took advantage of the generosity of people and the greatest fear that everyone fears of a cancer diagnosis to get the best of it. Money for herself. "
A spokesman for GoFundMe said: "In general, if someone manufactures a medical diagnosis or other circumstances hoping to raise funds, his fraudulent behavior will eventually be reported and the measures appropriate measures will be taken. "
A spokesman for Facebook: "Following the ongoing investigation, we believe that this fundraising violated our conditions.
"The fundraiser is now removed and no longer visible to anyone on Facebook, including the person who created it.
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"Refunds will be processed for all donors and they will receive a notification as soon as the refund is issued. People can also check the history of their payments to confirm the refund. "
Mrs. Smith's lawyer, Michael D. DiCindio, declined to comment.
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