For years, 32-year-old Jessica Good convinced an entire Oklahoma community that her 4-year-old Katie had cancer. Even her father and siblings believed it.
Katie had received thousands of dollars in donations from from fund-raisers, help from the church and GoFundMe pages — all because of her mother.
Jessica eventually got busted and was hit with fraud and child abuse charges.
via NY Daily News:
In her three years of sympathetic Facebook posts, cries for donations and suspicious excuses, Jessica had raked in more than $16,000 by allegedly faking her daughter’s cancer in her greedy scheme, according to police reports.
She raised an additional $8,714 through four GoFundMe campaigns, an official with the crowdsourcing site told the Daily News.
While local businesses like Enid’s golf club, photography studio, construction company and its churches opened its hearts and poured in thousands in donations, little Katie was perfectly healthy.
Jessica claimed her daughter had been diagnosed with lymphoma, cerebral palsy, had a brain tumor removed before suffering from a second one, was born prematurely, and suffered from a devastating nuts allergy.
None of it was true.
“We were able to obtain medical records and we found that this child has never seen a doctor in reference to cancer or any type of tumor ever went into remission,” Capt. Jack Morris of the Enid Police Department said, according to KFOR.
The community started getting suspicious about the child’s condition after Jessica claimed her daughter went through chemotherapy, but the “patient” never lost a single hair or looked like she was ailing.
Alan Seibel, an associate pastor of Oakwood Christian Church, reported the fraud to police in July, after the church had given more than $5,000 to the family for mortgage payments and medical expenses, the Enid News reported.
Jessica had allegedly lied to the church, telling its members her daughter had cancer, suffered from seizures, was going through stem cell research and on a waiting list for a heart transplant, according to reports.
The mother confessed to her lies after her arrest, telling police that everything was made up.
Police believe the child may have been psychologically abused to play along with her mother’s greedy ploy.
When interviewed, Katie’s siblings were determined that their young sister had cancer, the Enid News reported.
Jessica did not respond to the Daily News’s request for comments. She faces up to life in prison, and is expected back in court on Sept. 26.
GoFundMe has promised refunds for any donors who pitched in for the mom’s cancer scheme.
“Fraudulent campaigns make up less than one tenth of one percent of all campaigns,” GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne said in a statement. “With that said, there are instances where individuals try to take advantage of others’ generosity. In this case, an individual was charged with fabricating a diagnosis and committed fraud.”
That poor child.