Woman Charged With Faking Cancer to Scam GoFundMe Donors Now Accused of ID Theft, Police Impersonation and Lying About Involvement With Preston & Steve Event

Wilmington Police confirmed Tuesday that Jessica Cornell Smith, 32, is wanted out of Delaware on charges of identity theft and impersonating a police officer

What to Know

  • Jessica Cornell Smith, 32, was arrested Monday and charged with theft by deception-false impression and receiving stolen property.
  • Smith is accused of lying about having cancer in order to scam donors out of more than $10,000 on GoFundMe and Facebook.
  • On Tuesday, police confirmed she is also wanted out of Wilmington, Delaware on ID theft and police impersonation charges.

A Chester County, Pennsylvania, woman charged with faking cancer in order to steal money from donors is now accused of ID theft, posing as a police officer and lying about her involvement with an event from popular radio show hosts Preston & Steve in order to scam more people. 

Wilmington Police confirmed Tuesday that Jessica Cornell Smith, 32, was wanted out of Delaware on charges of identity theft and impersonating a police officer. On Thursday, she posted bail on those charges. 

Records show Smith, of Uwchlan Township, may have been the victim of a car break-in. After the reported incident, Smith allegedly pretended to be a Wilmington Police officer in an email that she sent out.

"We at the police department are currently working on this but have no leads and the gear is most likely gone for good," Smith allegedly wrote in the email.

Smith also set up a page to solicit donations for items she claimed she lost in the reported burglary, police said.

Wilmington Police haven't revealed whether Smith actually received any donations through that page. 

Smith had already been released on bail Monday after being charged with theft by deception-false impression and receiving stolen property. It’s unknown however if that bail will be revoked due to her current arrest warrant in Delaware. 

Smith raised more than $10,000 through a GoFundMe and Facebook page earlier in the year after claiming she was diagnosed with Heredity Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC). However, with the increased donations also came skepticism.

"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,'" Terri Coleman, Smith’s high school friend, told NBC10.

Coleman brought Smith on as a guest on her podcast "Ever Evolving Truth" over the summer. During two hour-long interviews, Smith defended herself against her detractors.

"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,'" Smith said during the interview.

Police began to investigate on June 19 when a friend of Smith and her husband filed a report, claiming they didn’t believe she had cancer. After speaking with Smith’s husband as well as doctors at Penn Medicine, where Smith claimed to have received treatment, police determined that she lied about her cancer diagnosis.

Investigators also said Smith impersonated a nurse on the phone and even lied about her father dying in order to get days off from her job at a Chester County fire protection company. Smith also allegedly forged a Penn Medicine doctor’s signature on a letter stating she was suffering from tumors and colon cancer which investigators determined was false.

During her interviews with “Ever Evolving Truth,” Smith claimed she set up an event with 93.3 WMMR’s popular Preston & Steve radio show to benefit the station’s Camp Out for Hunger event. On Tuesday, the radio hosts broke their silence on Smith, claiming she had lied about her involvement. 

“The scam was over a scam to cover more scams,” the hosts said during their radio show Tuesday morning.

The hosts also took calls from listeners claiming they were out more than $100 after buying tickets to the event from Smith.

NBC10
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