WEST CHESTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania woman is charged after authorities say she pretended to have cancer and used fundraisers to collect more than $10,000.
Jessica Ann Smith, 31, of Chester Springs, told friends she was facing a mountain of medical bills while battling severe colon cancer. After she detailed her recovery on social media in June, donations started pouring in on GoFundMe and Facebook, WPVI-TV reports.
An affidavit of probable cause shows police learned from Smith’s doctor that she “was not suffering from any condition that she was currently claiming to be afflicted by.”
“She made people believe that she had a very serious cancer diagnosis. The fact is she didn’t have it,” acting Chester County District Attorney Mike Noone said.
“On top of that, she lied about her own father’s death to get an extra day off from work,” Noone said. Authorities said Smith’s father is alive.
Smith’s fundraisers were eventually shut down. Facebook told ABC News the fundraiser violated their terms, adding that “refunds will be processed for all donors.” A Gofundme spokesperson said they are working with law enforcement and will refund donors.