An English woman managed to raise large sums of money with a made-up cancer story. The fraud was exposed, but the money is gone.
Nicole E., from Kent in south-east England, has found some notoriety with her cancer story. Mainly because she didn’t have cancer. The ovarian disease she shared with the world through a GoFundme campaign was only made up. Despite this, she managed to raise tens of thousands of pounds in donations for what she felt was a much-needed operation. For the crowdfunding site, she simply took an old picture of her in the hospital after gallbladder surgery.
A doctor exposed the fraud, the case ended up in court, where E. was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison in early 2021. It was a “cunning and manipulative” fraud, the judge said. But the £45,000 (around 52,000 euros) she swindled with the GoFundMe campaign is apparently not the only damage she has caused. After the cancer lie was blown, further inconsistencies came to light. Investigators also took on a boxing event with a gala dinner that E. had organized a few years ago to allegedly collect donations for charitable purposes. Overall, investigators estimate the damage from the fraudulent activities at £360,000, British media reports.
The money is gone
It is unlikely that the bona fide donors will see their money again. A court has now ordered E. to pay back a whopping £5 over the next 28 days. Apparently nothing more can be gotten from the convicted fraudster. The court found that there was no realistic prospect that she would be able to repay the sum because E. had no assets.
E. apparently squandered the money completely. During the court hearing about the online fraud, it came out that E. had used the money to pay off gambling debts and paid for luxury trips to Barcelona and Rome.
Sources: The Sun / Kent Online / BBC