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When asked how far she would go for her dream wedding, Lori Stilley might answer 'I'd fake cancer for it.' That's what the New Jersey woman is accused of, based on police charges.
There is no crime for 'inappropriate-devotion-to-your-wedding' so prosecutors have charged her with theft for all the money she allegedly took from friends and family.
In February 2011 Stilley told family and friends that she had stage 3 bladder cancer. Then in April she told them, via Facebook and her website, that the cancer was now stage 4 and that she couldn't afford treatment. The community donated money and meals to help care for her but now they suspect she was never sick in the first place.
Stilley's family and friends were incredibly supportive during her alleged illness. They donated over $10,000 for treatment, reports CBS News. She also made $3000 in proceeds from her e-book about the support system that helped her.
Good Samaritans even stepped up to help pay for her wedding when she wanted to marry her boyfriend.
But in November 2011, Stilley said she was feeling better and said she "believed a miracle was coming," according to the Burlington County Times. When she cancelled her hospice care, people got suspicious. Some believe she was never actually sick.
Faking an illness isn't illegal but soliciting thousands of dollars by misleading people is a crime.
Stilley has been charged with theft for allegedly accepting money after misleading friends and family her illness. Just because she didn't force anyone to give her money doesn't make her actions acceptable. If she withheld material information when accepting money, such as that she didn't have cancer, she could be found guilty of unlawfully taking money a.k.a. stealing.
Despite the outrage of her friends and family, Stilley insists that she is innocent and that she did nothing wrong. Asked whether his client had cancer, her attorney responded, "I have not received any evidence to the contrary," reports the Burlington County Times.