WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A 24-year-old woman in Australia was sent to jail after faking cancer and scamming money from unsuspecting family and friends.
- In 2012, Hanna Dickenson, then 19, asked her parents for money for supposedly lifesaving overseas treatments in Thailand and New Zealand.
- Dickenson’s parents, who are farmers, were struggling financially and asked neighbors and friends to assist their “terminally-ill” daughter.
Hanna Dickenson of Melbourne, Australia was 19 when she lied to her parents about being terminally ill with cancer. She convinced her parents that she would die within months if she couldn’t get treatment overseas.
Dickenson’s parents asked financial assistance from friends and neighbors, eventually raising $32,000, which she used to fund her partying, drug use and overseas holidays.
One of Dickenson’s victims was an actual cancer patient who was tricked into donating $10,000 for her “urgent treatment” in March 2013.
Neighbors Nathan and Rachel Cue took money out of their mortgage and contributed $15,000. But when Mr. Cue saw pictures of Dickenson posted on Facebook which showed her drinking, partying, and obviously having a good time, he went to the police.
“I started looking into it, doing my homework,” Mr. Cue told a local media outlet. “I spent a fair bit of time [figuring] things out and [I was] 100 percent scammed. So that’s when I took it to the police.”
Dickenson was charged with obtaining property by deception and pleaded guilty to seven charges.
Now a real estate agent, Dickenson was sentenced to three months in jail, 150 hours of community work and treatment for mental health issues and substance abuse. A court in the state of Victoria described her offense as “despicable.”
“Ms. Dickenson has engaged in conduct that tears at the very heartstrings of human nature,” said magistrate David Starvaggi.
The court also ordered Dickenson to repay her multiple victims and heard she would lose her job.
“Yes, she has harmed some people … she didn’t ask them directly though,” Dickenson’s lawyer, Beverley Lindsay, told the court.
“She hasn’t engaged in this behavior for three years, she’s been a model worker … she’s turned her life around, she’s proven that. To send her to prison now sends her backward,” Lindsay added.
But Magistrate Starvaggi said her conduct “beggars belief” and a prison sentence was significant to discouraging future scams.
“The court must rightly deter others from engaging in this sort of conduct, taking advantage of people willing to assist and advance money to support somebody in what is perceived to be very tragic or dire consequences,” the magistrate concluded.
Source: The Telegraph