San Jose woman pleads guilty to fake cancer scheme

October 13, 2021 GMT

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California woman who raised more than $100,000 by claiming she had cancer and needed treatment pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud.

Amanda Riley, 36, entered the plea before a federal judge in San Jose and could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced in February, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

In her plea agreement, the San Jose woman acknowledged that between 2012 and 2019, she raised money by falsely claiming she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma and solicited donations on social media.

“She posted photos of medications, photos of herself at hospitals, and photos of herself allegedly suffering the side effects of chemotherapy” and even shaved her head to make it appear she had lost it from treatment, the U.S. attorney’s statement said.

Riley also organized several in-person fundraisers, prosecutors said.

She acknowledged receiving more than 400 donations.