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Woman facing charges of organized fraud

A Citrus County, Florida, woman is facing serious criminal charges after police say that she faked a cancer diagnosis in order to profit financially. The 36-year-old is facing three charges of felony organized fraud in the matter, and a conviction could bring serious punitive measures. Readers should note that, as of the time of this report, the only information on the case has come from police reports and interviews with law enforcement. The woman accused of these crimes has not yet given her side of the events that led to her recent arrest.

Police assert that the woman left her home near the end of 2013, and returned approximately a month later. When she returned, she told members of the community that she had been undergoing treatment for stage IV breast cancer. She gave the name of a cancer treatment center in a nearby Florida city.

The community rallied around the woman, and friends and family even set up a GoFundMe account to collect donations for the cost of her care. That effort yielded donations in the amount of $4,400. In addition, she received funds from a Citrus County Airboat Alliance benefit held in her honor.

Police eventually received a tip that the woman was not in fact a cancer patient. They looked into the matter, speaking with multiple family members who stated that none of them had gone with the woman to any medical appointments. The woman gave detectives her medical paperwork, but police state that, when they went to the facility where she claimed to have been treated, there was no record for her on file.

The Florida State Attorney's Office is now handling the case, and the woman faces felony charges of organized fraud. As the matter moves forward, she will have a chance to present her side of the case in a court of law. Should she be able to prove that she has been diagnosed with cancer, the charges could be dropped or she could be acquitted in court. However, if she cannot avoid conviction on the felony fraud charges, she faces serious legal repercussions.

Source: Fox News, "Florida woman charged with faking cancer, collecting over $4G in donations", March 16, 2015

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