WILLOW GROVE, PA. (CBS) — A Willow Grove woman went as far as shaving her own head in a fake cancer plot that reportedly netted her tens of thousands of dollars in donations and fooled her own parents, police said.
Police say Alicia Tolton, 26, claimed she had been suffering from ovarian and breast cancer for approximately 18 months.
“The only medical condition she had was the one that ate away her conscience,” Upper Moreland Police Chief Thomas Nestel said.
According to investigators, Tolton played an active role in organizing a benefit planned for October 17 in which she was scheduled to receive the proceeds from the “beef and beer” fundraiser.
The proceeds from the benefit were apparently going to pay for Tolton’s alleged surgery and cancer treatments.
Friends and organizations, who believed that Tolton was suffering from cancer through her Facebook page, also began organizing the benefit. They were under the impression that Tolton was incurring large medical bills.
Investigators say Tolton advertised the event, ordered and solicited tickets, tee shirts, bracelets and raffles and even solicited door prizes and donations.
By mid September, approximately $1,000 had already been donated, deposited or accepted in Tolton’s behalf.
In addition, the investigation also revealed that Tolton fraudulently designed and presented medical invoices and receipts using the Fox Chase Cancer Center logo. Investigators said Tolton was never a patient at Fox Chase.
Tolton was arrested after police set up a sting claiming the Upper Moreland police union wanted to give her a donation.
“She had the guts to come into the police station to collect that donation,” Nestel said.
Tolton has been charged with Theft By Deception, Forgery and Tampering With Records or Identification.
Tolton is being held on $25,000 cash bail.