Charges Allege Faribault Man Faked Cancer Diagnosis
FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) — Prosecutors say a Faribault man lied about having terminal cancer, collected thousands of dollars in donations and spent the money on video games and marijuana.
Thirty-seven-year-old Jeremiah Jon Smith is charged in Rice County with theft by swindle. Investigators say fundraisers and a GoFundMe web page for Smith generated $23,000 to help cover his medical expenses.
Court records show Smith's wife became suspicious when she couldn't find medical records to back up her husband's claims. County Attorney John Fossum says when Smith was questioned by police, he told them he would produce the records, but never did. WCCO -TV reports that's when investigators got a search warrant and found out Smith did not have cancer.
The Rice County court administrator says Smith does not yet have an attorney who could speak on his behalf.