Willow Grove woman charged with faking cancer
WILLOW GROVE, Pa. - October 6, 2010 (WPVI) -- A woman has been charged with taking advantage of people's sympathies and their wallets by falsely claiming to have breast and ovarian cancer.
"The only medical problem she has is the one that ate away her conscious," Chief Thomas Nestel of the Upper Moreland Police said.
26-year old Alicia Tolton was brought in by Upper Moreland Township police wearing a hoodie sweatshirt, covering her shaved head.
Police say for the last two years she has been claiming to have cancer.
Relatives and strangers are out more than $20,000.
That includes her own parents who thought their daughter was dying of cancer.
"Her mother is wheelchair-bound. Her father is recently out of work, so they're struggling without these types of problems," Nestel said.
Police say she even took $10,000 from her 88-year-old grandfather to pay non-existent medical bills.
When her cousin got suspicious, police say she used letterhead from the Fox Chase Cancer Center to make out fake bills for chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Neighbors say they often saw Tolton outside the house she shares with her parents in Willow Grove wearing a bandana on her head.
They all thought she suffered hair loss from cancer treatment.
Police say Tolton set up a Facebook page soliciting contributions online and selling t-shirts and bracelets.
Friends also rented the local VFW hall to stage a fundraiser.
Tolton was arraigned this afternoon on charges of forgery and theft by deception.
"It's disgusting, we have members in our department who are cancer survivors; it is absolutely disgraceful that anybody would use this disease to try to get money," Nestel said.
Tolton has been out of work for over a year. She previously worked as an emergency dispatcher for Montgomery County.
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