Pa. Woman Faked Cancer for Gifts, Donations: Sentenced to Prison

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on July 29, 2011 6:42 AM

A Pennsylvania woman who faked cancer in order to get donation money will likely be facing the ire of her friends in combination with a stint in jail. Alicia Tolton, 27, was sentenced to 11.5 months to 23 months in jail.

Tolton allegedly told friends that she had breast and ovarian cancer, and then tricked them into holding a fundraiser on her behalf, reports The Pottstown Mercury.

Friends then organized a "beef-and-beer" benefit, called "Wishes for Alicia." Tolton got about $1,000 from the fundraiser as well as two tickets to a Philadelphia Eagles game.

Tolton had used her own Facebook page to promote the benefit, including selling T-shirts and bracelets. She also provided information about her fake cancer, and fake treatments, reports The Pottstown Mercury.

Two of Tolton's friends were helping to organize the fundraiser, and had contacted other friends, co-workers, and local businesses for the benefit. The women had to use their own time and money to return some of the donations, reports The Pottstown Mercury.

Tolton was charged with theft by deception, forgery and tampering with records, reports CBS News. In addition to her jail sentence she will also have three years of probation. Tolton said she used the donations for her fake illness to cover drug debt and to pay some bills.

In Pennsylvania, theft by deception is a crime when a person intentionally obtains property through some sort of lie, omission or fraud. For example, a person is guilty of the crime if they create or reinforce a false impression.

In this case, Alicia Tolton seems to have clearly created the false impression that she was stricken with cancer - though she was really only a woman who faked cancer. Pretty difficult to fathom considering how patients across America are battling with real cancer.

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