Woman faking cancer continued to fundraise after police shut down GoFundMe: prosecutor
(WJBK) - A woman accused of faking cancer to raise over $30,000 in Livingston County was arraigned Friday as prosecutors described just how far the alleged fraud went.
Candace Streng was charged with using false pretenses to obtain $20,000 or more but less than $50,000 with intent to cheat or defraud, which is punishable by a max of 15 years in prison and a fine of three times the amount of money involved. She was also charged with using a computer to commit a crime, a felony that can lead to 10 years in prison.
GoFundMe records show 399 people donated a total of $31,645 since April 2017 to the account Candace Kicks Cancer. Police say they have enough evidence that Streng does not have cancer, and prosecutors say the hospital had no records they had been treating her. The account has been shut down and GoFundMe is refunding the donations.
Brighton police: woman fakes stage 4 breast cancer, raises $30K
Prosecutors say that since 2015, Streng has allegedly been telling friends and family in person and by detailed Facebook posts that she had stage 4 breast cancer, including her treatments, side effects and medication she was on.
In early 2017, prosecutors say she posted that there were new types of treatments that were not covered by her insurance and began asking for money to help pay for said treatments. Concerned friends set up a GoFundMe account, which she later took control of.
Prosecutors say Streng also used the media to gain support, interviewing with the Livingston County Press in May 2017 and November 2017.
When police learned she was lying, she continued to lie to law enforcement about her condition, according to prosecutors. They say when she found out police shut down her GoFundMe, she reached out to people directly to tell them how to donate to her via PayPal.
Streng was given $200,000 cash surety bond. Her preliminary exam is scheduled for April 24.