New York police stated that they arrested a couple who falsely claimed their child had cancer in order to get some cash.
The 35-year-old Martin and Jolene LaFrance from Byron, New York, were put under arrest after getting thousands of dollars in donations from a GoFundMe account created for their son, who they claimed to have cancer.
The Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office said that the investigation took a few months. The LaFrances were charged with one count each of first-degree scheme to defraud and endangering the well-being of a child.
It was said that probe into the couple originated from “an online solicitation for money to assist with a family member’s serious medical condition.”
The GoFundMe page, set by someone on behalf of Martin and Jolene, indicated that their child had cancer. It said:
The LaFrance family recently found out their son CJ has cancer. CJ was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma initially, if that isn't bad enough they were just given the news that he has a malignant tumor in his abdomen, & gastroperisis. CJ has to go to the children's hospital several times a week for treatments which has forced both Jolene and Marty to take a leave of absence from work. They have been out of work since March leaving them with no income. Any funds raised will go towards medical expenses, gas for travel, and anything else related to this difficult time!
The sheriff’s office stated that the couple was involved in the launch of the page, which raised more than $3,000. He said:
The investigation revealed conclusively that the child was never diagnosed with cancer or any other medical condition that was alleged in the GoFundMe solicitation.
The 9-year-old boy, who is a diehard Syracuse football fan, was even invited to practice with his favorite players, who all thought he had cancer.
A GoFundMe spokesperson said all people who donated to a fake cause will get their money back, adding that situations like that are really rear.