A 36-year-old woman in Florida, Kelly Johanneson, disappeared for roughly a month back in late 2013, then she resurfaced telling her loved ones that she’d been diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer while she had been away. She then proceeded to defraud donators out of thousands of dollars before complaints resulted in her arrest and subsequent indictment on charges stemming from the scheme, according to deputies with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.
Johanneson’s loved ones setup a GoFundMe fundraiser which collected over $4,400 in donations.
Detective John Bergen was quoted by Bay News 9 in a report as having said that the woman “hurt so many people,” ranging from those who loved her to those she hardly knew.
This is the first case in Citrus County of it’s kind […] It just seems so implausible that someone would use a horrible illness like cancer for personal gain. Johanneson hurt so many people, from people that loved her to people that hardly knew her but wanted to help.
After authorities received complaints back in September, detectives interviewed the Florida woman, who told them that she’d been to Moffitt where she’d been diagnosed with cancer. She also provided the authorities with the names of doctors and forged paperwork which appeared to be from the cancer center, however, the cancer center confirmed that the paperwork was fraudulent and that they had never had a patient by the name of Kelly Johanneson.
The center was also unable to locate her by birth date or social security number.
Kelly is now facing a third-degree felony charge of organized fraud for her breast cancer scheme.As detectives believe that there may be additional victims who donated to the false cause of this apparent fraud, people are asked to send an email to [email protected] or to call (352) 249-2720 in order to report pertinent claims to the authorities.
A study published late last year indicated that two-thirds of women who undergo lumpectomies to treat breast cancer are receiving radiation therapy which lasts twice as long as it needs to.
Can you believe this woman allegedly pretended to have breast cancer in order to defraud loved ones and sympathizers alike out of thousands of dollars in donations to her fake cause?