Woman Gets Community Service for Faking Cancer

A judge ordered a woman to perform 500 hours of community service after she schemed relatives and others into thinking she was dying of cancer.

Lori Stilley was sentenced Thursday. Earlier this year she pleaded guilty to theft by deception for receiving nearly $12,000 in donations from more than 300 people in 20 states, who even paid for her wedding.

Prosecutors say the 41-year-old former Delran resident in 2011 told relatives and posted on Facebook that she had been diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Prosecutors say that in February 2011, Stilley told those close to her and posted on Facebook that she had been diagnosed with cancer. In April, she said her condition had worsened, and supporters soon raised more than $10,000 after she said she didn't have medical insurance.

Stilley even authored an e-book that discussed her daily struggle to cope with cancer. It was posted for sale in October 2011 on her personal website at a cost of $14.99 and generated more than $3,000 in proceeds.

Family and friends also organized and paid for Stilley's wedding and delivered meals. But those supporters became suspicious in November 2011 when, just as Stilley was expected to enter a hospice, she instead posted that she was feeling better and believed a miracle was coming.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Stilley's younger sister Lisa DiGiovanni and ex-husband Brian Schenski asked New Jersey Superior Court Judge James W. Palmer Jr.  to impose the maximum sentence because of the emotional damage she caused her 13-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son.

"My sister faked an illness, but she has taken so many lives," DiGiovanni told the judge according to the Inquirer.

Despite not giving Stilley the maximum sentence the judge still called her actions “despicable,” according to the paper.

"I have never heard of such an outrageous thing,” Palmer said “I'm almost speechless. It's despicable what you've done."

Stilley reached a plea bargain in May that spared her further penalties.

Stilley has remarried and lives in Chester County, Pa.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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