A 25-year-old Kentucky woman faces prison time after allegedly shaving her head and pretending to have cancer so she could collect thousands in donations

By KC Baker
February 22, 2019 05:01 PM
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Kenton County Detention Center

A 25-year-old Kentucky woman faces up to 10 years in prison for allegedly lying about having cancer and bilking well-meaning friends, co-workers, and strangers out of more than $10,000, PEOPLE confirms.

On Feb. 14, Jessica Marie Krecskay of Florence was arrested and charged with theft by deception over $10,000, the Kenton Commonwealth Attorney’s Office tells PEOPLE.

From 2013 to 2017, Krecskay allegedly told people she had been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer and that it had spread throughout her body, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Krecskay’s co-workers, employers and friends rallied around her, donating more than $10,000 to help her battle the deadly disease she allegedly never had, local station WLWT reports.

“Those people stepped up and were very charitable and started donating money to her, raising money on her behalf, paying bills for her, working shifts so that she didn’t have to work, things of that nature,” Kenton Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders told WLTW. “All to the tune of in excess of $10,000.”

Co-workers at the weight loss clinic where Krecskay worked even took time off to help her run errands and help her around the house, local CBS affiliate WCSC reports.

“The other girls at work would clean her house for her, take her out to eat all the time,” former colleague Jessica Lunsford told WCSC. “Gave their own sick time and vacation time hours to go towards her.”

Their hearts went out to their seemingly ailing friend, who went so far as to shave her head, Lunsford said.

Krecskay’s good-hearted colleagues even hosted a fundraiser and held raffles and auctions for her, raising about $10,000 for her, she said.

“The money that she got out of all of it is crazy,” Lunsford told WCSC.

Krecskay used some of the money to take her family to Disney World several years ago, allegedly saying that would be her last vacation, Lunsford said, WCSC reports.

Her alleged deception began to unravel when colleagues including Lunsford grew suspicious of Krecskay, Lunsford told the outlet.

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Their suspicions deepened when they looked at surveillance video of Krecskay to find out what happened when she allegedly passed out on the floor at work, Lunsford told WCSC.

“On camera, you can see her just lay down on the floor, and she’s on her phone texting,” Lunsford alleged to WCSC. “When she heard the elevator beep, she dropped her phone like she was passed out laying there.”

Managers asked Krecskay for proof of her cancer diagnosis, which she allegedly did not provide, Lunsford said.

Shortly after, police were notified, Sanders told WLWT.

“It was a lengthy investigation, but ultimately the facts, as were uncovered by police, is that Ms. Krecskay did not have cancer and that these were ill-gotten gains,” Sanders said.

On Feb. 7, Krecskay was indicted by a grand jury on a felony charge of theft by deception.

After her arrest, Krecskay was held at the Kenton County Detention Center before she was released on a $2,500 bond.

She is scheduled to be arraigned in Kenton County Circuit Court on March 4.

It is unclear whether she has retained an attorney who can speak on her behalf.