WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Amanda Riley falsified medical records and forged doctors’ notes to con people into donating for her “medical expenses”.
- She has collected $105,513 in donations but has pocketed the money and used it for personal expenses.
- The court accepted her plea to reduce the sentence to 5 years in lock up.
Amanda Riley is sentenced to 5 years in prison after she conned people to donate for her medical expenses, claiming she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She has collected $105,513 in donations from friends, family, and even church members, but she pocketed the money and used it for personal expenses.
“When people donated to Riley over the internet or at in-person fund-raisers, they believed their donations would be used to pay Riley’s cancer-related expenses,” the US attorney said in a statement. “In fact, Riley had no cancer-related expenses, and donors’ funds were simply deposited into Riley’s personal bank account.”
She was exposed in 2019 and charged with wire fraud in 2020. She pleaded guilty to these charges last fall.
She falsified medical documents and forged doctors’ notes and certificates to make it appear that she has cancer. She even made a personal blog online called “Lymphoma Can Suck It,” where she posted pictures and talked about her experience, including one with a brief remission until the lymphoma came back “with a vengeance” as Stage 4 metastatic cancer. She also shaved her head to make herself look the part.
Jodi Linker from the Public Defender’s Office served as her legal counsel throughout the case. The court documents indicate that the defendant pleaded for a reduced sentence of 5 years in lock up.
Linker said that the defendant is dealing with mental health problems, and called her a “devoted wife and mother and a “gifted teacher” before the school dismissed her from her position.
“Ms. Riley recognizes the seriousness of her offense,” Linker told the judge. “She is extremely remorseful and is determined to do everything possible both to make restitution and to earn the forgiveness of the people she has hurt.”
“On the surface, Ms. Riley’s upbringing appears to have been relatively stable,” Linker continued, noting unspecified “traumatic events” back in her childhood.
Her family and friends described the defendant as “caring” when called on the stand. Tom Maneri, her brother, came to her defense and described her actions as “significant and life-changing” mistakes that “most likely started out as an outcry for attention and help.” He continued and said it was heartbreaking to see how her “horrible decision” weighed on her.
“Our family struggled last Fall when Amanda finally told us all the truth,” he wrote. “But thru our anger, we still see the light in her and have seen the Hell she has been through that we wouldn’t wish on anyone.”
Source: New York Post