A Virginia woman has been taken into custody nearly two years after her marriage. She is accused of grand larceny and fraud after she allegedly duped friends and strangers into paying for her wedding.
The woman, now 25, told local media before her marriage that she suffered from terminal leukemia and wanted to marry the man of her dreams before her death.
She was extradited to a northeastern state where she lived when she allegedly committed the crimes. If convicted, she could wind up in prison for four years, the state attorney general said.
The woman allegedly received thousands of dollars of services and gifts after sharing her story. The owner of a local bridal store customized an ivory gown valued at $1,500 for her and said the bride never returned it.
Hundreds of other strangers donated enough money to fund a honeymoon in Aruba, matching wedding bands, and makeovers for the bride and bridesmaids.
A few months after their wedding, the woman's new husband exposed the alleged fraud. He said that he had been deceived and felt like a fool for falling for her story.
In response, said the woman said the man had come up with the plan to tell people she was ill. She called him abusive and told a newspaper that she really had been diagnosed with leukemia, but did not provide any medical evidence to support her claim.
The couple had sought a divorce but seemingly got back together and relocated to Virginia. They have two children. The man said his wife was a good mother, and admitted that he had been abusive in the past. If the woman is lying, this trauma could play a part in it.
Source: New York Daily News, "Bride who faked cancer to collect wedding gifts jailed," Corky Siemaszko, April 10, 2012