A woman faked having cancer as a way to scam people for money, and now she is paying the price. According to Fox News, 36-year-old Kelly Johanneson told her friends that she had stage IV breast cancer. She says that she had been receiving treatment at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, and her friends and family instantly wanted to help.
After setting up a GoFundMe campaign, friends of Johanneson learned that the money they had helped raise wasn’t helping their cancer-stricken friend out… because their friend didn’t actually have cancer.
A tip back in September blew Johanneson’s cover. Since Johanneson never brought her family or her friends with her to any doctor appointments, her story seemed suspicious to at least one person who called police.
“When Johanneson forked over her medical paperwork and the names of her doctors, detectives visited the Moffit Cancer Center, where workers said they’d never heard of Johanneson.”
The woman apparently faked having cancer for her own personal financial gain. She collected well over $4,000, but none of that money helped her pay medical bills of any sort. According to Fox 25 Oklahoma City, Johanneson has been charged with fraud, which is a third degree felony in the state of Florida.
“It just seems so implausible that someone would use a horrible illness like cancer for personal gain. Johanneson hurt so many people; from people that loved her to people that hardly knew her but wanted to help,” said detective John Bergen.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Johanneson did everything she could think of to convince her family and friends that she was suffering — she even shaved her head. After receiving money from various causes (donations made through raffles, at fundraisers, and on GoFundMe), Johanneson played the part.
“Thank you to everyone that has given me their love, prayers and support during this very difficult time of my life. On behalf of my two beautiful children and all of my family you have my deepest appreciation and love,” she wrote to those who helped her through “Kelly’s Hope.”
Police are asking anyone with any additional information about Kelly Johanneson to come forward. They have also requested that anyone who donated money to “Kelly’s Hope” contact Det. John Bergen at 352-249-2720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time that someone faked having cancer in order to receive money — and it probably won’t be the last.
[Photo courtesy of the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office via Fox 25 Oklahoma City]