Martha Nicholas, a 42-year-ancient mother of two, said she was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer when she was in her twenties. Holding back tears, she told a collection of supporters in July that “each night, I wonder if it will be the at the end,” according to a report from WRIC-8.
However the Virginia woman didn’t really have cancer, police affirm, reports WTVR-6, and at the end Thursday, she was arrested on two charges of obtaining money by fake pretenses.
“Our investigation revealed no evidence of any cancer treatment at any medical facility that had been publicly identified by Martha Nicholas during her many public appearances and testimonials,” said Capt. Michael J. Trice of the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Mechanicsville Community. “Investigators also found evidence of individuals that had given money to Martha Nicholas due to her proclaimed medical condition.”
According to WRIC-8, distinct fundraisers were held to supposedly aid Nicholas pay for her treatment. In one interview from a Relay for Lifetime event at the end summer, available below, she tells a WRIC-8 reporter that she has raised over $10,000 selling necklaces and orange “Cancer Sucks” t-shirts.
According to The Daily Letter, her two kids, who are 10 and 13, thought their mother had cancer.
“I refuse to believe it, since I reckon no one makes this up,” one supporter who raised as much as $500 for Nicholas, said in a video from ABC News, available here.
However Nicholas’ attorney, Sam Simpson, denies his client was swindling anyone.
“This was not a scam to rip human beings off,” Simpson told ABC News. “There is an illness. It’s a mental illness, and I can’t affirm more about this.”
Nicholas isn’t the only person to have allegedly faked cancer for financial gain. In 2010, Ashley Kirilow, a Canadian woman, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud after she lied about having cancer to raise money, according to CBC News.
And earlier this year, another Canadian male was charged with 13 counts of fraud after he allegedly swindled as many as 40 human beings for nearly $900,000.
WATCH: Report From WRIC-8:
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