Pa. woman who faked cancer gets prison time

May 20, 2011 5:45:16 AM PDT
A 26-year-old Berks County woman has been sentenced to up to seven years in prison after she faked cancer and collected nearly $12,000 in donations for treatment.

Jenna Esslinger, of Maidencreek Township, had said she was diagnosed with cancer and treated at two Philadelphia hospitals. Prosecutors say she set up a charity fund and held fundraisers, but instead used the money to eat in restaurants.

Berks County Judge Linda Ludgate chastised Esslinger for taking money and lying, and sentenced her to 1-7 years in prison. The Reading Eagle reports she ordered Esslinger to pay $11,769 in restitution.

Esslinger had pleaded guilty to theft and forgery. Her lawyer, Allan L. Sodomsky, says she was addicted to drugs and did not have money to care for her children.


Information from: Reading Eagle