An Uwchlan Township woman allegedly claimed she had cancer in a purported attempt to scam people who donated to her fundraisers out of the money they pledged to assist her.
31-year-old Jessica Smith reportedly said she was being treated for Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer, and she reached out to the public using GoFundMe and Facebook in an alleged attempt to raise money.
In the fundraisers, Smith, reportedly using the name Jessica Veronica Cornell, allegedly stated that she was suffering from her treatments and that she was struggling to make ends meet due to the high cost of her medical bills.
People began donating money through the platforms and Smith reportedly gained over $10,000 in support from those who contributed to her cause.
In June, someone who said they know Smith personally went to the authorities and claimed that the woman was lying about having cancer so that she could collect the money from the fundraisers.
The following month, Smith’s husband called the police after he said that he heard his wife on the phone with her boss. He said he believed his wife was allegedly posing as a nurse at Penn Medicine so that she could obtain time off work by saying she was recuperating from treatments for cancer.
Smith’s husband reported that their joint insurance plan did not show any outstanding balances and that he did not have any knowledge of his wife having cancer.
When the police called Smith’s job they were told that the woman was on medical leave due to her severe illness.
The Uwchlan police obtained a warrant and presented it to Penn Medicine in order to view Smith’s medical records in an effort to learn whether or not she was being treated for cancer.
When they received Smith’s records they allegedly confirmed that the woman was lying about having cancer. While looking into the fundraisers posted in the name of Jessica Veronica Cornell, the money was allegedly directly deposited into Smith’s bank accounts.
Smith was taken into custody on Monday, and she is being charged for suspicion of receiving stolen property, and theft by deception. She was released from custody on a $10,000 unsecured bail after her arraignment.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a theft crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.