A NSW mum who fooled her entire community with false cancer claims and defrauded them out of $45,000 was undone with one email.
Former Cricket NSW employee and mum-of-four Melissa Quinn has pleaded guilty to fraud after she claimed that she had three types of terminal cancer and raised money for medical treatments and travel expenses.
In 2014 Quinn told her community of Casino that she had a rare form of cancer that required treatment overseas. She did use the $20,000 her community raised to travel to the US – just not for cancer treatment, police say.
Melissa is not the first person to allegedly profit from false cancer claims. Belle Gibson was caught in a similar scenario. Post continues.
However, the 35-year-old was not content, and after her return from what she claimed was life-saving surgery in the US, she said she’d been diagnosed with another form of cancer.
This time it was chronic myeloid leukaemia, she told her employer in early 2016. She wouldn’t have chemotherapy, but she would have surgery to remove tumours on her leg, she said.
Cricket NSW responded by giving her unlimited sick leave.
But when she returned, relatively soon and with a bandage on her leg, her coworkers became suspicious, A Current Affair reports.
Her employer asked her for a doctor’s certificate – and she sent them one. But one detail in the email raised Cricket NSW staff’s eyebrows – it came from a Gmail account.
So they contacted the doctor who supposedly wrote the letter and found he hadn’t treated Quinn. Cricket NSW then shared the information with police, who charged her with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception, making a false document to obtain financial advantage and using false documents to obtain a financial advantage.
Last week in court she pleaded guilty to these charges. She will be sentenced this month.
A spokesman for the Casino RSM Club, who were crucial in her fundraising, told AAP they were “deeply shocked and saddened” when they learned of her arrest.
Several staff members helped Quinn by taking care of her children and driving to her non-existent medical appointments and chemotherapy treatments, he said.