Monique Coria: Arizona mom charged with fraud for faking baby's cancer and splurging donations on SWAG
According to court documents, Coria and her husband brought their baby to a hospital for 'unnecessary medical procedures,' claiming that she had brain cancer
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: A Phoenix mother has been charged with fraud after she claimed her baby had brain cancer and defraud GoFundMe donors. Monique Coria allegedly stole thousands of dollars and spent the donated funds on expensive products, including a Gucci wallet and a $600 blow dryer.
According to Arizona's Family, two more alleged fraudulent schemes were committed by Coria. Karissa Sanchez became friends with Coria in July 2021. She claimed that the mother informed her she worked for the Live Nation ticket company and had a connection who could get cheap tickets. She told Arizona Family, "She could get a discounted price. She could get $800 dollar tickets for $300." Sanchez claimed that Coria provided nothing but excuses in the weeks preceding the shows. She eventually realized she'd been duped by someone she'd let into her life. "From me alone, [Coria took] probably $450-$500," Sanchez stated, adding, "With other people--all my coworkers, family friends? Probably a good $6000 dollars."
The Tolleson Police Department filed fraud charges against Coria in October 2021, but the county attorney returned the case to the police in April 2022, alleging a lack of evidence. The case has not yet been resubmitted to prosecutors by Tolleson PD, although that could change. Sanchez, who became friends with the Phoenix mother, added, "It just made my stomach turn, it made me sick that someone could do that and act like my friend like that."
As per Arizona's Family report, the staff at Phoenix Children's Hospital reported Coria and her husband to the authorities on October 5. According to court documents, the couple brought their one-year-old girl in for "unnecessary medical procedures," saying she had brain cancer. According to investigators, employees informed police that the parents had created a GoFundMe campaign and that they "needed money to pay for the medical bills" because their infant had brain cancer.
Coria flooded TikTok with videos about her one-year-old daughter and her purported medical condition. In contrast, hospital staff told police that the toddler "has never been diagnosed with brain cancer and does not have brain cancer," according to court records.
The GoFundMe was shut down after the parents allegedly raised more than $13,000 on the platform, according to Phoenix Children's staff. The parents were reportedly taking donations via LinkTree, CashApp, Zelle, and Venmo, the staff told cops.
On October 13, 2022, police and officials from the Department of Child Safety visited Coria's apartment near Thunderbird and Cave Creek Roads to talk with her. Although Coria told officials that her infant had seizures and was taking medication for them, she denied that her daughter had brain cancer, reported Arizona's Family.
Later, she allegedly told officers that a friend had launched the GoFundMe. According to court documents, Coria admitted that a doctor had never given her child a cancer diagnosis, but she also claimed that she had created videos for TikTok saying that her child had the disease because "she was in a bad place." After that, she admitted that her husband started GoFundMe because they needed money for gas and rent.
According to the police, Coria informed investigators that the couple had received $11,000 in donations but had also spent $4,000 on gas and rent.
She said that she and her husband were "fully aware" that the infant didn't have brain cancer and that the request for money was "a fraudulent way to ask for money," according to the investigators.
According to reports, the couple deleted the GoFundMe account after withdrawing the money from the bank because "they didn't need the money anymore." Coria and her husband were both taken into custody at their residence four days later.
During an interview with police, Coria admitted to creating the GoFundMe in January 2022 and receiving $11,000 as well as "an unknown amount" from other money-sharing apps. She said that the whole amount of money was spent on over-the-counter drugs, rent, and utility costs, but they used a tax refund to purchase a vehicle. Investigators claimed that Coria did spend some of the funds on luxuries, including a Dyson Airwrap and a Gucci wallet because "they had their other expenses covered with the donation money."
In another scam, Autumn Franco who reportedly met Coria through a friend in Whittier, California, said the mother allegedly pretended to be a French Bulldog breeder and offered Franco two puppies for the price of one for a sum of $1,500.
Franco told the outlet, "I was super excited. I always wanted one, and I was like "Wow, this is such a great price!" Franco said. "And then she kind of made it seem like we were friends, you know? Like, we got along well, and she was so convincing." Later she said that in the end, Coria stole the money from her and her pals while she was expecting the puppies.
According to the Whittier resident, she reported Coria to the police in 2019 but nothing came of her allegations. "I was really upset and angry," Franco said. "You know what? The money is gone but whatever happens to her happens to her."
According to a GoFundMe spokesman, all donations made to Coria's GoFundMe for her child who wasn't suffering from cancer have been refunded. Also, the fraud mother has been banned from the site, the spokesperson said.