The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office reported that Kelly Johanneson, a 36-year-old woman from Florida, had left her home for a month in 2013. When she came back, she told her family and friends that she had been to Moffitt Cancer Center where she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.
Johanneson told everyone that she needed money in order to pay her medical bill, so her family and friends reached out to the community and began raising funds.
According to officials, Johanneson’s supporters launched a special website to raise money for her. Through the website- KellysHope on GoFundMe.com- the supporters managed to raise approximately $4,400.
Also, the community held fundraising events, including a very big event near the Citrus County Airboat Alliance.
But the scam did not last long because the police received a phone call in September 2014 which informed them that Johanneson may be lying about her being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.
After receiving the call, the police started to investigate the case by first interviewing Johanneson’s family. The police was surprised to find out that none of the family members had been with Johanneson to the doctor.
The police detectives then started to interview Johanneson who insisted that her cancer diagnosis is real and gave them her doctors’ names and all the paperwork.
When the police contacted the Moffitt Cancer Center, they were told that no one by that name was registered in their data base.
The case was then brought to the State Attorney’s Office which issued an arrest warrant for Johanneson.
She is now charged with organized fraud, which is considered a third-degree felony.
John Bergen, one of the detectives involved in the case said that this is the first case of its kind that ever happened in Citrus County. Bergen said that he finds it incredible that someone was capable of using such a terrible illness in order to take advantage of people.
Bergen added that Johanneson has hurt many people, form her family and friends to stranger who wanted to help her.
Image Source: nydailynews
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