A southern New Jersey woman who scammed the public, friends and even her own family out of thousands of dollars by claiming she had bladder cancer has pleaded guilty to theft by deception. By entering the guilty plea, Lori Stilley, will likely avoid serving any jail time. Instead, the 41-year-old will probably receive four years probation when she's sentenced in July.
Stilley will also have to pay restitution ranging from $15,000 to $20,000 and perform at least 100 hours of community service under the terms of her deal.
In February2011, Stilley allegedly told friends and family that she had been diagnosed with Stage III bladder cancer and that she had to have chemotherapy treatments. When she said her condition worsened in April, supporters helped raise $12,000 for medical expenses and even paid for her wedding.
Her Facebook page, “Team Lori Rocks,” had more than 300 friends who were willing to offer their support. People became suspicious when she had a miraculous recovery in November.
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Prosecutor Robert D. Bernardi said in a statement: “To represent that she was dying from this terrible disease for the sake of personal gain and sympathy goes way beyond simply being a criminal offense; it was extremely cruel to those who were concerned and worked hard to lend assistance.”
Stilley surrendered to police and remains free on $25,000 bail. Her husband was not charged.
Sources: The Daily Mail, ABC Local