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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Mother, 32, 'lied about having colon cancer to scam GoFundMe and Facebook donors out of $10,000' and faces felony theft charges after her own husband went to police

A Pennsylvania woman has been arrested after her own husband accused her lying about having colon cancer to scam people out of more than $10,000.
Jessica Cornell Smith, 32, created GoFundMe and Facebook pages earlier this year, telling people she was struggling with expenses evolving from travel, child care and missed work due to the alleged diagnosis.
A GoFundMe page created June shows she raised $4,600 after claiming she had been diagnosed with Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC) and she posted pictured after shaving her hair.
But more money was raised on social media platforms for the fake medical bills and went into a TD Bank account, investigators who charged her with theft have claimed.
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Jessica Cornell Smith, 32, created a GoFundMe and Facebook page claiming she was diagnosed with Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC)
Jessica Cornell Smith, 32, created a GoFundMe and Facebook page claiming she was diagnosed with Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC)

But the mother was finally taken into custody on Monday following a months- long investigation by cops that began in June when a friend suspected Smith of being untruthful.
'She was very vague about her diagnosis and treatment and really suggestive photos, like a selfie on the bathroom floor, "about to give up on life but also please donate to my GoFundMe",' high school friend Terri Coleman told NBC 10.
Smith had claimed she was be treated by oncology specialists at the Abraham Cancer Center in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. 
The correct name of the facility is the Abramson Cancer Center.
On a podcast this summer, Smith said: 'If anyone straight up came up to me and was like, "I think you're faking this," I literally would say, "Okay, you're coming to chemo with me on Monday".' She complained of huge bills, child care and missed work costs in social media posts that were shared by others who tried to drum up support after she shaved her head
On a podcast this summer, Smith said: 'If anyone straight up came up to me and was like, "I think you're faking this," I literally would say, "Okay, you're coming to chemo with me on Monday".' She complained of huge bills, child care and missed work costs in social media posts that were shared by others who tried to drum up support after she shaved her head

Pictured is one of her supporters who posted an image of shorts made to help raise money for Smith who put more than $10,000 in a TD Bank account
Pictured is one of her supporters who posted an image of shorts made to help raise money for Smith who put more than $10,000 in a TD Bank account 
The Uwchlan Township woman even appeared on her friend's the 'Ever Evolving Truth' podcast over the summer to insist she was battling the disease as skepticism increased.
'If anyone straight up came up to me and was like, "I think you're faking this," I literally would say, "Okay, you're coming to chemo with me on Monday",' Smith said in the interview.
On July 31, Smith's husband supplied law enforcement with evidence that her health insurance deductible hadn't exceeded $1,250 despite her claim it had reached $15,000. 
It's unclear whether they are separated.
On the same day she lied about her father passing away and gave her employer - a Chester County fire protection company – a death certificate that didn't match his name, investigators found.
Her father is in fact alive.
'She lied about her own father's death,' Chester County First Assistant District Attorney Michael Noone told NBC 10. 'Essentially just to get a day off from work.'
Cops say during this time Smith had come to them complaining that she was being bullied online and harassed by people who confronted her about not having cancer.
Investigators accuse her of lying about being a nurse at Penn Medicine. Investigators said she even forged a signature from a doctor at the facility for a certificate stating she had colon cancer and tumors.
In September, Smith handed police documents that supposedly proved her chemotherapy and that she'd had 'sixteen inches of her colon removed'. However police found that she's only had iron transfusions for anemia.
'The campaign was reported to our team and we are working with local law enforcement to assist in the investigation,' a GoFundMe representative told DailyMail.com Tuesday. 'All donations will be refunded to the donors in full.'
The crowdfunding site said they have a community of over 50 million users and when a story is shared and the community sees something they think might not be right, they tell them, and their team investigates.
GoFundMe said misuse is extremely rare on their platform with it making up less than one tenth of one percent of all campaigns.
Smith was arraigned on theft by deception-false impression and receiving stolen property charges Monday and is out on bail. 
She is due in court for a preliminary hearing next Tuesday. 

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