South Jersey Woman Charged in Cancer Scam
Cancer is a serious illness where many people sometimes do not have the money to pay for all the medical costs that are involved. One South Jersey woman raised more than $10,000 to help her with treatment, but prosecutors are calling what she did a total scam.
40-yr-old Lori Stilley told many in Feb. 2011 that she had Stage 3 bladder cancer and would need treatment to attack this, but two months later she reveals that the cancer has spread and now Stilley had Stage 4 bladder cancer.
During this time, friends and family pitched in to help ranging from meals for her to raising money to cover her medical costs since she did not have any insurance (according to Stilley). Friends organized a fundraising banquet in July 2011 that took in about $8,400. The Delran native wrote an e-book about her experience during this time and raised over $3,000 from the sales of the publication.
Stilley was married during this stretch, and saw friends come through to help with the cost of a "shotgun wedding" that was organized in less than 2 weeks.
The there was a point where Stilley was making hospice plans and was claiming she had only weeks to live, but then came a Facebook post where she claimed a miracle was coming - she was feeling better.
Stilley postponed hospice, then her sister became very suspicious, leading to prosecutors to investigate all of Stilley's actions. On Wednesday she was formally charged with "theft by deception", and was released on $25,000 bail. Stilley's lawyer's say she has done nothing wrong. The Burlington County Prosecutors Office has no sympathy and feel her actions "goes way beyond simply being a criminal offense".
SoJO will follow this case as it will face a grand jury in the near future for indictment.