CBS: A Pennsylvania woman was arrested for allegedly faking cancer and charged with collecting donations through a GoFundMe page and Facebook fundraiser totaling more than $10,000, CBS Philadelphia reports. Jessica Smith faces a number of felony theft counts for allegedly creating the scam donation pages.
This investigation started in June and Smith is now behind bars. The 32-year-old was arrested Wednesday after allegedly lying about having a rare form of colon cancer.
“This is a disturbing situation where she preyed upon the good nature of other people,” Chester County’s First Assistant Attorney Michael Noone said. “She took advantage of other people’s generosity by lying about having cancer. She also lied about her own father’s death to get another day off from work.”
According to the criminal complaint, Smith claimed she was being treated at Penn Medicine but the facility couldn’t find any record of any diagnosis or treatment of any form of cancer for her.
The host of the Ever Evolving Truth podcast said he discovered something was amiss with Smith after interviewing her twice.
“We just started looking into some of the things that she was saying and it turned out that every bit of it, every word she uttered to us was a lie,” Jeff Bergh told CBS Philadelphia.
Smith’s husband also told police she doesn’t have cancer and that she’s covered under his employer’s health insurance policy.
A similar incident occurred in Pennsylvania in 2016, leading to the conviction of Brandi Weaver-Gates, who was sentenced to up to four years in prison. Weaver-Gates pleaded guilty, saying she fake having leukemia to get more attention from her family. Scam fundraisers that the 24-year-old created netted her more than $30,000.