Fake cancer victim charged with 16 counts
A Canandaigua woman who bilked area residents out of some $20,000, now faces charges for her scheme which involved a false claim of battling cancer. Officials say that Melissa A. Jones told relatives and friends that she was fighting terminal cancer and attended fundraisers held on her behalf. She now stands accused of 16 separate crimes, including grand larceny and various crimes related to fraudulent claims and forgeries of hospital documents. She also allegedly told her young son that she was dying, for which she is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
The community has reacted with outrage at news of the charges. “We donated money,” said an acquaintance of Jones named Dina. “I photographed her family after she got her hair cut because she was supposedly losing her hair and gave her the images. We all came together as a community and helped out with her kids, did what we could do to help out and it was thrown back in our face.” Dina is a cancer survivor who helped to raise money for Jones’ allegedly fictitious treatments.
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