In what appears to be a truely strange tale of how the economic depression we’re currently in is affecting society, a news report came out today reporting that a police deputy out of Marion, Ohio duped his co-workers into giving him money and sick days for what he described as him having a terminal cancer. He even scammed the community out of money and sympathy for his fake cancer illness.
I am sure we will see more and more of these kinds of scams appearing out of the woodwork as time goes by and as people start losing their livelihoods and incomes due to the economic depression we’re all experiencing. Indeed, there is also another story that appeared today reporting on a couple — also in Ohio — that scammed people out of money and sympathy by faking cancer.
Deputy who committed suicide accused of cancer scam
BY RANDY LUDLOW AND DANA WILSON of The Columbus Dispatch
MARION, Ohio — His colleagues in law enforcement rallied to the aid of Marion County Deputy Sheriff Joe Russell as he fought repeated bouts of cancer.
A Fraternal Order of Police fundraiser brought in $20,000 to help pay his medical bills and fellow employees donated more than 75 days of unused sick leave and vacation days so he could receive treatment.
A week ago today, Russell committed suicide, shooting himself in his Delaware home. Deputies in dress uniform attended his funeral, perhaps wondering if his struggle against cancer had become too tough to bear.
An autopsy then showed that Russell apparently was healthy and not suffering from cancer. The 39-year-old deputy had scammed his friends and co-workers.
He apparently had fabricated it all – the notes from doctors and the claims he had, in quick succession, fought cancer in his lungs, brain and testicles.
Sheriff Tim Bailey thinks Russell also shaved his eyebrows and head and used tanning beds to make himself appear red from cancer treatments.
Bailey outlined Russell’s cancer scam at a press conference this morning, recalling how deputies would visit their “sick” colleague at his home and sit by his bedside.
“I’m just furious over it that he would do it,” Bailey said. “I do not want the people in the community to think this is the way we operate at the sheriff’s office.
“His personal friends in the department did not see any of this coming. They were just blasted.”
Russell first claimed in 2005 that he was undergoing treatment for lung cancer, the sheriff said. He appeared to be successful in battling back the disease.
In 2007, Russell said cancer had been discovered in his brain, intensifying sheriff’s office efforts to assist him with a fundraiser and the donation of co-worker’s unused sick leave and vacation time.
Earlier this year, Russell said his testicles had been removed after it was found they were cancerous, Bailey said.
The sheriff said he was starting to become suspicious, but that medical privacy laws prevented him from delving into the illnesses of his constantly sick deputy. The autopsy found Russell’s testicles were intact.
Read the full story at The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio woman facing prison time after cancer scam
An Ohio woman is apologizing after scamming family and friends out of hundreds of thousands of dollars—all for a made up story.
Melanie Chen told them her husband Phylip was dying of cancer.
Instead, the couple used the money to buy couches, luggage and even a washer and dryer.
Chen faces eight years in jail and has to pay back all the money she stole.
Phylip is awaiting trial for the incident.
Full story at WNCT.com