Victims Of Alleged Cancer Scheme In Burlington County Speak Out
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By Robin Rieger
MOORESTOWN, N.J. (CBS) - “We were duped like everyone else,” said Moorestown Community House event coordinator Joan Brown.
The Moorestown Community House normally charges a $1,000 to $1,500 fee for a ballroom wedding. Lori Stilley of Delran had her wedding here in April of 2011 for just $400. Brown says they believed at the time they were helping a sick woman with limited funds.
“I recall her coming in with some friends,” Brown said.
She says Stilley’s friends told her “that she had cancer and she needed to get married and she was going to pass away within days.”
Sensational Host catering owner Henry Gosik says his sales people were told the same story when asked to cater the wedding.
“I was told she was terminally ill, was in stage four, was undergoing chemotherapy,” said Gosik, who also lent a helping hand.
“I don’t know the exact amount they paid us, but I know I discounted it 70 percent,” he said.
The two are among many conned by Stilley, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor who charged her Wednesday with soliciting thousands of dollars in donations, while falsely claiming to be undergoing treatment of bladder cancer since February 2011.
Officials say Stilley had never been treated for, or even diagnosed with cancer.
“I feel disgusted really, I feel kind of let down,” said Brown.
In hindsight, she says of Stilley:
“She had energy, so she didn’t seem sick to me and I remember thinking that, ‘Gee I wonder how sick she is, she’s planning this wedding,’” said brown
“You took advantage of a company that makes money in catering, good for you. But your family and friends and your people in your community that reached out to you, that had a fundraiser for you. Shame on you,” said Gosik.
Stilley’s mother, Dottie Oppmann, who talked off camera, said she believes her daughter had cancer and says she cared for her grandchildren when their mother was too sick to do so. Oppmann says she doesn’t know what her daughter’s prognosis is now.