Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Martha Nicholas
Martha Nicholas
Motivational speaker Martha Nicholas, 42, of Mechanicsville, Va., told people that she had been diagnosed with stage-4 ovarian cancer when she was 22. She spoke at events about her ongoing battle with cancer: "Each night, I wonder if it will be the last...I was 22-years-old when I was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. Back then, I didn't even know what an oncologist was." Police received an anonymous tip in April 2011 that her battle with cancer was a scam to get money. Further investigation revealed that there was no record of her ever having been treated for cancer. Captain Michael J. Trice of the Hannover County Sherriff's Office told The Mechanicsville Local: "Our investigation revealed no evidence of any cancer treatment at any medical facility that had been publicly identified by Martha Nicholas during her many public appearances and testimonials," Trice added, "Investigators also found evidence of individuals that had given money to Martha Nicholas due to her proclaimed medical condition." It seems that several fundraisers were held to pay for Nicholas' medical expenses, as well as around $10,000 in sales of necklaces and "Cancer Sucks" t-shirts. Nicholas was arrested on December 7, 2011, and charged with two counts of obtaining money under false pretenses. Her family reportedly believed she had cancer. Her attorney told ABC News, "This was not a scam to rip people off. There is an illness. It's a mental illness, and I can't say more about this."
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