Web Upset Over Fine Woman Ordered to Pay for Faking Cancer

Melissa Knowles

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People do not like to be misled, especially by people who make fraudulent claims to get money. A woman in Virginia is accused of pretending to have ovarian cancer so she could deceive people into giving her money. Martha Ann Nicholas, a 42-year-old mother of two, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of obtaining money by false pretenses.

Authorities, who began investigating Nicholas in 2011, said she may have collected as much as $10,000 in monetary donations and for selling "Cancer Sucks" T-shirts to family, friends, and strangers. Nicholas has paid $1,700 so far in restitution.

So what was her punishment? A Hanover County judge sentenced Nicholas to five years' probation and a $100 fine. Nicholas is also required to not take part in any charitable causes during her probation. Her attorney, Sam Simpson, says Nicholas had been suffering from a psychosomatic condition that made her believe she really had stage-four cancer. Nicholas's family says she is receiving counseling, and they are happy she's not going to jail.

People on social media believe Nicholas got off easy and are calling the punishment "despicable."


In another case of fraud, a man in Brazil was arrested Tuesday and charged with falsifying public documents when he attempted to use a fake ID to open a bank account. The person he was pretending to be is what has people taking. Pictured on the ID was Academy Award-winning actor Jack Nicholson, most famous for roles in movies such as "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "The Shining," and "As Good As It Gets."

People on social media are finding the incident very amusing, tweeting comments such as "You don't know Jack" and "As stupid as it gets."

The man, who is denying the charges, is scheduled to appear in court this week.