Pennsylvania woman caught faking cancer in $10,000 GoFundMe scam, hit with new charges of identity theft and impersonating police
Smith was released on bail Monday after being charged with theft by deception-false impression and receiving stolen property. Smith managed to raise more than $10,000 through a GoFundMe and Facebook page claiming she was diagnosed with Heredity Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer
Fresh allegations have been brought against a Chester County woman in Pennsylvania woman after she was charged with faking cancer in order to dupe online donors. Now, Jessica Cornell Smith is accused of posing as a police officer and lying about her involvement with popular radio show hosts Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison in a charitable event they hosted.
32-year-old Smith is wanted by Wilmington, Delaware, police on charges of identity theft and impersonating a police officer, NBC 10 reported. Smith was released on bail Monday after being charged with theft by deception-false impression and receiving stolen property. That said, it is unclear if that bail will be revoked owing to her current arrest warrant in Delaware.
Earlier this year, Smith managed to raise more than $10,000 through a GoFundMe and Facebook page claiming she was diagnosed with Heredity Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC). But the increased amount of donations raised suspicions.
Speaking to NBC 10, Terri Coleman, Smith’s high school friend, said she was "very vague about her diagnosis and treatment and really suggestive photos, like a selfie on the bathroom floor, 'about to give up on life but also please donate to my GoFundMe'."
Over the summer, Coleman brought on Smith as a guest on her podcast 'Ever Evolving Truth'. Smith defended herself against her detractors during two hour-long interviews. "If anyone straight up came up to me and was like, 'I think you’re faking this,' I literally would say, 'Okay, you’re coming to chemo with me on Monday,'" she said at the time.
On June 19, a friend of Smith and her husband filed a report claiming they believed she didn't have cancer, thus sparking a police investigation. Authorities spoke to the husband and also questioned doctors at Penn Medicine, where Smith claimed to have received treatment.
Shortly after, they concluded she had lied about her cancer diagnosis. Detectives also found that Smith, in a bid to get days off from her job at a Chester County fire protection company, impersonated a nurse on the phone and even lied about her father dying.
Furthermore, it was found Smith allegedly forged a Penn Medicine doctor’s signature on a fake letter that stated she was suffering from colon cancer and various tumors. Smith claimed during her interviews on the 'Ever Evolving Truth' that she set up an event with 93.3 WMMR’s popular 'Preston & Steve' radio show, aimed at fundraising for the station's Camp Out for Hunger event.
But the famous radio hosts broke their silence on Smith Tuesday, saying she had, in fact, lied about her involvement in the event. “The scam was over a scam to cover more scams,” the hosts said in the episode that aired Tuesday morning.