Police charged Leatha Slauson for faking her daughter’s colon cancer diagnosis. Authorities say the Iowa mom scammed many and collected donations from various sources in the community to assist her with hospital bills and living expenses.
Atlantic police investigators say Slauson, 30, a mother of five children — and an aspiring firefighter — was charged with child endangerment for her role in allegedly cooking up a scheme to bilk money out of others. In addition to lying about the cancer prognosis, she was cited for giving cannabis oil to her 5-year-old daughter, citing a WOWT report.
Last year, the woman concocted a tale that her child was suffering from terminal cancer, and had taken horrible turn despite undergoing a regimen of chemotherapy and other treatments. Her plan included setting up a bank account in the child’s name titled, “Rally For Riley.”
A GoFundMe account was set up by Leatha Slauson in December of last year for her daughter’s cancer. As of this writing, donations total $1,038 of its $2,000 goal. On the site, she mentions various reasons for needing the money collected from her crowdfunding efforts. At a glance, her description (with a number of sics) appears legitimate.
“she[her daughter] is on very high doses of oral chemo and has just had a ng tube placed as she is not eatting very well and getting alot. she now has a picc line and is gettinfg iv chemo, she was not excepted for liver transplant at this time. she is such a brave little girl and such a fighter. i really hate asking for help exspecialy seence so many people have send such beautiful things for riley but i have no other choice. with 5 kids and 4 being special needs and medical bills and medical equiptment is adding up. all money raised will go to pay rileys bills and medical equiptment and help with gas and other exspenses. riley has an acount set up at wells fargo under rally for riley for donations. thank you!”
Leatha Slauson’s elaborate cancer scheme unfolded when officials at her daughter’s school offered their support and tried to help. However, when they attempted to contact a list of medical references Slauson provided, a startling discovery was made: they didn’t exist.
Police were notified and an investigation began to determine if the woman was conning the public by using her daughter as a means for sympathy. Their suspicions panned out, and the woman was arrested 24 hours later for exploiting her daughter for purposes of financial gain.
Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green said it’s not the first time someone has duped the public out of money. In fact, he donated to Slauson’s cause like many others.
“This isn’t the first time this community has stepped up for people. We do it for everybody. I did. As a matter of fact my wife had cancer last year so we’re pretty invested in the situation.”
It’s uncertain how much money was involved in the cancer scam, but electronic funds and those on deposit that have not been redeemed were frozen as a precaution to protect donors.
Although Leatha Slauson’s cancer scheme unraveled and went public, the local fire department does not harbor any ill-will toward the struggling mom.
“Under the current circumstances, she needs our support more than ever and will remain an honorary member and we wish her nothing but the best in her future,” read a post by Fire Chief McNees on the department’s Facebook page.”
As for Leatha Slauson’s husband, police say he is not involved in the colon cancer fraud. Moreover, he is trying to make sense of what his wife has allegedly done.
[Image: GoFundMe via WOWT]