Reporting Todd Quinones
By Todd Quinones
PENNSAUKEN, N.J., (CBS) — A New Jersey mother is sentenced in a heartbreaking fundraising scam.
She lied to the community — telling family and friends her son had cancer.
The mom was sentenced to three years probation. She avoided prison.
Former friends Eyewitness News spoke with say she got off easy.
Susan Stillwaggon, 35, admitted she made it all up.
After telling her nine-year-old son and friends he had stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, it turns out it was all a lie (See Related Story).
“One hundred percent, she is a monster,” Christina Rebilas of Pennsauken said.
Rebilas and Tom Wallace considered themselves to be close friends with Stillwaggon.
They say they sold bracelets and held cupcake drives with her son’s soccer team that helped raise as much as $5,000.
In addition, Wallace, who coached the soccer team, says Stillwaggon’s son was convinced he was dying, even showed up to game in a wheelchair and had a short haircut.
“He said ‘yeah my mom said because of the cancer, I’m going to start losing my hair. So she’s going to cut it shorter and shorter every time, so I’m used to it,’” Wallace said.
On Friday, the 35-year-old mother pled guilty and was sentenced to three years probation, 75 hours community service and she has to pay back about $320 to one person who donated money.
“She needs to be with children who are terminally ill, and watch them and watch the parents,” Rebilas said.
“It’s sickening. It’s disgusting. I’m past the point of anger. I think that what these people go through every day that have sick children, she made a mockery of them,” Wallace said.
Attempts to talk to Stillwaggon at her Pennsauken home Friday night went nowhere, but previously her mom indicated her daughter was being treated for a mental illness.
Eventually Stillwaggon’s lie unraveled and police arrested her in April.
Rebilas and Wallace say they were able to give back the money they helped raise.
The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office says anyone who may have been duped into giving money has to contact them within 60 days.