The last few years have proven to be difficult for many families in terms of their financial stability. The recession left millions of Americans without jobs. Many people continue to struggle. That has led some people to do things that they normally wouldn't. It may have even led some to commit crimes.
That may have been the case for one New Jersey woman who is accused of faking a cancer diagnosis and accepting gifts of money, food and support from her family and community. The 40-year-old woman now faces criminal charges of theft by deception.
Prosecutors say the woman told her family and friends that she was diagnosed with Stage IV bladder cancer in February 2011. However, those close to her grew suspicious when she abruptly decided not to enter hospice care in November 2011. The woman's sister called her physician and then alerted police. Authorities claim that the woman had never been diagnosed or treated for cancer.
The news media often sensationalizes stories like this. However, it is important to remember that those accused of crimes remain innocent unless prosecutors can prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. A criminal charge and a conviction are two very different things.
When someone faces serious criminal charges, it is often wise to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney will evaluate the case to determine how best to proceed. For some, that may mean accepting a plea agreement. For others, that may mean vigorously fighting the charges. Either way, an attorney will work hard to ensure that an individual's rights are not violated.
Source: CBS New York, "Prosecutors: NJ Woman Raked In Thousands By Pretending To Have Cancer," Sept. 27, 2012