People who were generous enough to contribute money to a 42-year-old woman felt they were helping a mother who was dying to receive the cancer treatment she needed to remain alive. It was only much later that they discovered the shocking truth and realized that the money they had donated was actually used for something else.
The 42-year-old cunning woman, Nicole, faked her cancer diagnosis and raised thousands of dollars through donations after creating a GoFundMe page. She used the donations to enjoy expensive shopping sprees and luxury trips abroad. As Nicole painted a picture for those visiting the fraudulent fundraising page, she made it look like it was being written by her mother, asking for funds to treat ovarian cancer.
To tug at heartstrings, a message was fabricated and posted on the fundraiser, “Our beautiful daughter Nicole, and loving mother to her dear 11-year-old son, has recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It has been a tough several months to say the very least and it’s all still overwhelming. I know the true fears she is facing, all the fears that come with having cancer and being a mum and trying desperately to keep things normal.”
The series of lies included the claim of Nicole having only three weeks to put the cash together for her surgery. Eventually, nearly 700 people fell for Nicole’s story and were conned into sending around $69,200 to her. After allegations of Nicole misusing the donations were raised, investigators found that she had been using the money to gamble and splurge on holidays to Spain and Italy. Nicole claimed that the trips to Spain were not “tourist trips” and that she went to Spain to receive special cancer treatment. However, “there was no paperwork for procedures in Spain or medical records to prove this,” said Judge Mark who described her scam as “cunning and manipulative.”
It was also discovered that the doctor, Filipe, who Nicole claimed was in charge of her treatment, did not even exist. Additionally, the photo of her looking frail in a hospital bed that she uploaded on her fundraising page was from gall bladder surgery she had months before she began conning people; it had nothing to do with cancer. After Nicole was convicted of pocketing thousands from unsuspecting donors, she was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison for false representation and possessing criminal property.
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