A Minnesota man is accused of faking cancer in order to collect thousands of dollars in donations that he allegedly spent on entertainment.
The county attorney says police received a tip about Jeremiah Smith in May of 2016 after a series of fundraisers were held for him.
Thirty-seven-year-old Jeremiah Jon Smith is charged in Rice County with theft by swindle.
In February 2016, a fundraiser at Biff's Sports Bar & Grill in Spring Lake Park raised more than $6,500, and a second benefit in Northfield that included an auction, food and door prizes took in about $9,000.
"I'm fairly confident that Mr. Smith was the only one that was aware that he wasn't sick when they were planning these fundraisers", Fossum said. "He was acting like a con man", he said.
Smith's own wife, Amanda, became suspicious of her husband after she was unable to find medical records or bills that would back up his story about having treatment.
Eventually police obtained a search warrant to obtain his medical records which revealed he was not sick at all, at least not physically.
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The post also expressed admiration for the gunman who killed 58 people in Las Vegas on October 1, police said. As of Wednesday evening, the lockdown was lifted, and schools will return to normal activities on Thursday.
Investigators said the first time they met with Smith, he told them that he would turn over his medical records.
So where did the money go?
The criminal complaint shows Smith used some of the money to play video games, like Clash of Clans, and to buy marijuana, as well as pay off some credit cards.
"People contributed over $20,000 to help pay for this, which again, he blew on things that he wanted to spend money on", Fossum said.
The Rice County court administrator says Smith does not yet have an attorney who could speak on his behalf. He's scheduled to appear in court next month and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
"Campaigns with misuse make up up less than one tenth of one percent of all campaigns". It is important to remember that our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds that funds from a campaign are misused, donors are fully protected and will get refunded.
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