CHESTER SPRINGS, Pa. (CBS) — Authorities say a Chester County woman was arrested for faking cancer and charged with collecting donations through a GoFundMe page. Jessica Smith started scam donation pages on GoFundMe and Facebook, seeking donations to assist with her medical bills.
This investigation started in June and now Smith is behind bars after the Chester County District Attorney’s Office says she lied about having cancer. Authorities are doing everything they can to make sure justice is served.
“This is a disturbing situation where she preyed upon the good nature of other people,” Chester County’s First Assistant Attorney Michael Noone said.
The Chester County District Attorney’s Office has some harsh words when describing the 32-year-old woman from Chester Springs.
“She took advantage of other people’s generosity by lying about having cancer. She also lied about her own father’s death to get another day off from work,” Noone added.
Smith was arrested Wednesday after allegedly lying about having a rare form of colon cancer.
According to the criminal complaint, she claimed she was being treated at Penn Medicine and scammed people out more than $10,000 through a GoFundMe account and Facebook fundraiser.
“We had all these people reaching out to us who had no idea who we were, saying that they were scammed by her,” Jeff Bergh said.
Bergh is the host of The Ever Evolving Truth podcast and interviewed Smith two times. He tells Eyewitness News that everything started to unravel after the second interview.
“We just started looking into some of the things that she was saying and it turned out that every bit of it, every word she uttered to us was a lie,” he said.
The criminal complaint also shows that Penn Medicine could not find any record of any diagnosis or treatment of any form of cancer.
The victims who were scammed may soon have closure.
“It’s a really good feeling that she’s going to have to face what she’s done,” Bergh said.
Smith’s husband also told police she doesn’t have cancer and that she is covered under his employer’s health insurance policy.
Smith is facing a number of felony theft charges.