North Carolina Woman Lied About Cancer Diagnosis to Collect Donations, Sheriff Says

A North Carolina woman was recently arrested after she allegedly lied about a terminal cancer diagnosis in order to receive donations, according to authorities.

According to the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, the woman was identified as 46-year-old Michelle Lynn Stultz of Clemmons, North Carolina.

The Iredell County Sheriff's Office said that on August 27, they first learned of Stultz alleged crime when a victim filed a police report accusing her of obtaining property by false pretenses. According to a press release from the sheriff's office, the victim told deputies that "she had given money to a female acquaintance who she believed to be suffering from terminal cancer."

The victim informed the sheriff's office that on four different occasions, she gave Stultz approximately $975, as she believed that Stultz was facing financial issues due to the necessary medical treatments that she claimed she needed.

The sheriff's office said in the press release that when the victim learned that Stultz lied about her cancer diagnosis, the victim confronted her and asked for the money back. "She said [Stultz] stopped all communications with her after this," the press release said.

After the victim reported the incidents to the sheriff's office, Detective J. Roberts of the Iredell County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Unit, was assigned to the case for further investigation.

A search warrant of Stultz social media accounts revealed that she made further efforts to receive donations after falsely claiming that she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. According to the sheriff's office, the search warrants verified that Stultz received donations "in the form of currency from other individuals as well as churches." Additionally, Stultz also created a GoFundMe page where she told potential donors that she needed money to help her with financial issues caused by her false diagnosis.

Following the discoveries in the investigation, Stultz was served four felony warrants obtaining property by false pretenses, the sheriff's office said.

Stultz was arrested in Clemmons and transported to the Iredell County Detention Center. According to online arrest records, Stultz was released from the detention center after posting a $5,000 bond.

Newsweek reached out to the Iredell County Sheriff's Office for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

A similar situation occurred in Alabama in April when a woman identified as 40-year-old Dawn Lineberger was arrested by the Huntsville Police Department for lying about a breast cancer diagnosis and receiving monetary donations.

According to WVTM 13 news in Alabama, Lineberger received over $8,000 from a GoFundMe page and also received donations from a local church. She was charged with theft by deception, WVTM 13 reported.

Donation
A woman in North Carolina was recently arrested after lying about a cancer diagnosis in order to receive donations. Above, money in a tip jar in a Taos, New Mexico, coffee shop includes a two dollar bill. Robert Alexander/Getty