A mother has fronted court on numerous fraud charges and one count of child abuse, after it was discovered she profited thousands from faking her daughter’s cancer.
Jessica Lynn Good allegedly received close to US$20,000 via GoFundMe campaigns, Facebook appeals, personal donations and fundraising activities for her little girl, whom she claimed suffered from lymphoma, reports Enid News.
The Oklahoma mother of four also claimed that the four-year-old had a brain tumour removed at an early age, had been afflicted by seizures, was involved in stem cell research and was on a waiting list for a heart transplant.
Generous strangers believed it, the local community of Enid believed it, her own family believed it, the child herself even believed it.
But thanks to an intensive police investigation, Good has finally admitted that none of it was true.
The 32-year-old’s alleged fraud was brought to police attention by a pastor at her local church, who noted that the little girl had never lost her hair despite Good’s claims the child had undergone chemotherapy.
The church itself had donated more than US$5,000 over several years to assist with the child’s medical expenses, according to Enid News.
And it wasn’t alone. A local golf club held a special tournament that raised US$12,000, a local photographer donated $3100 from shoots and a virtual stranger sent Good a cheque for US$500.
It was a scam she’d been orchestrating since the child was just a few months old, according to police, and it paid off – temporarily at least.
Good turned herself in and has been charged with three counts of obtaining money or property by false pretence for charitable or benevolent purposes, and one count of child abuse.
The latter stems from a doctor’s determination that the young girl likely faced both physical and psychological abuse because of unnecessary tests and therapy, and because Good had convinced her she was critically ill.
According to Enid News, Good has admitted to the fraud, however she is yet to enter a plea in relation to any of the charges.
She will face court again on September 26.