A woman has been convicted of faking cancer and fooling the government into sponsoring a late-term abortion. She was also found guilty for committing a number of crimes including identity theft, theft, attempted theft, and forgery. The woman, who aborted her 22-week-old fetus by scamming the government, was convicted on a total of 11 counts, but her lawyer still insists upon her innocence.
An Arizona woman accused of faking a cancer diagnosis to secure a free, state-sponsored, late-term abortion, was convicted of multiple counts of fraud and other charges on Monday. The woman, identified as 30-year-old Chalice Renee Zeitner, was found guilty of all 11 counts against her, announced Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
The jurors didn’t spend much time debating upon the crimes committed by the woman, and many in the courtroom were appalled not just by the gravity of the crimes, but also the impunity with which she committed them. Zeitner was tried on charges including duping people with fraudulent schemes, theft, forgery, and identity theft. Horrifyingly, her list of crimes doesn’t end here. She’ll stand trial next month on separate allegations that she defrauded military veterans’ charities out of tens of thousands of dollars, reported News Oxy.
The aggravation phase of her trial was scheduled to begin Monday afternoon, confirmed Maricopa County Superior Court officials. Sheriff’s deputies and FBI agents found Zeitner in Georgia. She had been living under an assumed name Al Serkez, noted state prosecutors.
How did Zeitner fool the government into paying for her abortion? About five years ago, Zeitner lied to an obstetrician and fooled the doctors into thinking she needed an abortion. Zeitner informed the obstetrician she needed treatment for cancerous tumors, claim investigators. Back then, she was a member of the state’s Medicaid system and knew the inner workings of the laws, procedures, and provisions surrounding abortions.
Investigators shared she used the knowledge and took undue advantage of laws providing state coverage for abortions if the life of a mother is endangered. Apparently, Zeitner presented falsified medical records to support her claim that she had cancer. She claimed her pregnancy put her life in danger. The woman even added that she needed to travel to Boston to get Stage IV tumors removed from her stomach and lower spine. Agreeing to her claims, doctors at a Phoenix hospital terminated her pregnancy on April 8, 2010.
Her abortion occurred when she was pregnant for 22 weeks. By this time, the fetus is quite developed, and doctors usually do not recommend terminating pregnancies at this stage. Doctors usually recommend an abortion up to 13 weeks. Many states legally prohibit abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy. The only exceptions are rape or when the baby threatens the life and health of the mother.
The woman’s scam worked well. Moreover, Zeitner convinced her boyfriend to set up a fundraising website for her cancer treatments, reported KPHO-TV. She has been accused of using a fake identity on social media to win sympathy and earn from her alleged illness.
However, the fact that the woman was faking cancer became clear after a year when a doctor performed a C-section during Zeitner’s subsequent pregnancy. The doctor found absolutely no signs of cancer. The scam was confirmed when another doctor who was listed on medical records as having treated Zeitner for cancer said he had never met Zeitner or treated her for cancer, investigators said.
Besides faking cancer and duping the government into ending a precious life, Zeitner has been accused of spending $25,000 using the credit card information of a charity founder and his family and received more than $10,000 by pretending to organize a Washington, D.C., fundraising event, reported Arizona Capital Times. Incidentally, the woman isn’t the first one to fake cancer and be punished for her acts.
[Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images]