Woman accused of faking cancer allegedly took money for powerlifting competition that never happened

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Authorities in Chester County, Pennsylvania charged Jessica Smith with faking her cancer diagnosis and ripping off good Samaritans on GoFundMe to the tune of $10,000.

In June, the donations started pouring in. Smith claimed she had a mountain of medical bills. The creators of "The Ever Evolving Truth" podcast, Jeff Bergh, and Terri Coleman, a former classmate of Smith, helped expose the alleged hoax.

Coleman explains what made her question Smith's motives.

"Her marketing blitz was so aggressive for this fundraiser that it was so suspicious," she said.

Bergh called Smith a fascinating person but says his conversations with Smith raised additional concerns.

"To me personally, the thing that did it for me, in addition to the inconsistencies in her cancer story, was all the other scams that we uncovered," he said.

One of those other alleged schemes is a weightlifting meet organized by Smith. It was called "Kilos for Cancer." It was supposed to be a sanctioned weight lifting meet by USA Power Lifting.

Smith advertised on social media that the event would take place at Xfinity Live and radio station, WMMR, would broadcast it.

Jessica Allen says she and other lifters paid $125 only to have the meet canceled.

Allens says, "She said in her email, contact the national office regarding a refund. When I contacted the national office they redirected me back to her and then she had told a lot of people very publicly that she would not be issuing a refund.

Allen says she contacted Xfinity Live and WMMR. She says both told her, they had no idea about any powerlifting meet.

"So we found out very quickly that it was never really planned. Her excuse was, 'Oh, it's going to be in the parking lot.'

Action News has learned Smith is also charged in Delaware for allegedly impersonating a police officer. An arrest warrant was issued earlier this week.
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