An Ohio mother has been convicted of soliciting at least $21,000 in donations under the false pretense that she had cancer.
Mindy Taylor, 35, was convicted on a fourth-degree felony theft charge and is set to be sentenced on June 16. Since Taylor is a first-time offender, she has a chance to qualify for diversion. If she is granted diversion, her charge will be dropped if she repays all of the solicited money and admits to her wrongdoing, among other things.
Taylor was found to have contrived a scheme so deceitful that even her family bought into it. She created a page on Caring Bridge on which she regularly shared updates about her health and treatment and asked for money. The page shows people donated over $13,000 to her. Her own mother held a spaghetti fundraiser dinner that raised over $7,000.
Here’s an example of the kind of updates Taylor would post on her Caring Bridge page:
"For those of you who don't know, last week was really hard for me. I pushed myself a little too much (shocking I know) and wasn't prepared for the increase in chemo."
Taylor’s scheme was uncovered after an anonymous tipster contacted Ohio police and suggested they look into her prescription records to see if they matched her claims. Sure enough, they didn’t. Taylor had never been diagnosed with any form of cancer, despite routinely telling people she suffered from heart disease, lupus, and cancer.
Ross County, Ohio prosecutor Matt Schmidt thinks Taylor’s scheme may not have all been for the cash. He speculates she may have a personality disorder.
"I think she's a hypochondriac and that she enjoyed the attention. Even now," he said. "Negative attention is still attention, right?"