Belleville woman admits she faked cancer for money
The Belleville mother of five who told people for three years she was dying from ovarian cancer and received money, meals and sympathy will be sentenced Tuesday on fraud charges.
Alissa Jackson, 32, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of more than $500 by deception in December.
Jackson could receive probation or up to five years in prison.
It was October 2013 when Jackson first told Jenn Huelsmann she had Stage IV ovarian cancer. It was, she said, terminal. Huelsmann and other supporters estimated she received more than $35,000 in donations. Huelsmann, whose children went to school with Jackson’s children at Belle Valley in Belleville, and others started raising money for the family. Spaghetti dinners, raffle tickets, Internet funding sites, parties, T-shirt sales and silent auctions were organized.
The family was mostly given the proceeds in cash or cashier’s checks, said St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly. A California couple donated their minivan to the family to teach their children the importance of charity.
Huelsmann became suspicious in April 2014 when she noticed that Jackson’s health had not seemed to declined. Belleville police then conducted a month long investigation, later describing Jackson as “pure evil.”
For two years, the mother of five lied to her children about her diagnosis, prosecutors have said.