Woman Who Faked a Deadly Disease to Travel Pled Guilty in Court
“A s a 49 year old woman who was just diagnosed in October with Ovarian cancer this story made me so mad”, Kelly S — who is a reader of The Gate — posted in the Comments section in response to this article which I posted on Thursday, February 4, 2016 pertaining to a woman who faked a deadly disease to travel. “But what she did is terrible. I hope they prosecute her and made her pay back what she has taken.”
Your hope will most likely become a reality, Kelly S, as Mary A. Bennett — who is a licensed hospice nurse — pled guilty to one count of theft by deception and one count of forgery in Forsyth County Superior Court in Georgia, according to this article written by Randy Travis for the investigative team at WAGA-TV Fox 5 News in Atlanta.
Woman Who Faked a Deadly Disease to Travel Pled Guilty
Jeffrey Bagley — who is the judge who presided over the hearing in court — sentenced Bennett to serve five years in prison; fifteen years of probation; and she must pay back all of the people who she fooled to actually give her money.
Bennett explained that the reason why she did what she did was because she became suicidal as the result of sexual abuse as a child; and in order to hide the truth from her family, she decided that she would trick people into thinking she had died of stage IV ovarian cancer instead of by committing suicide…
…and the falsehood was perpetuated from there, growing as she started receiving gifts with no strings attached — growing until it became out of control.
People were indeed fooled by Bennett — and no one was immune or excepted from her deceptive actions. No one ever became suspicious — not even her mother.
For years, Bennett — who is now 30 years of age — apparently tugged on the heartstrings of friends, family, the community in Forsyth County, and anyone who would listen for them to donate money to her in order to secure travel to such places as New Orleans, Houston and Biloxi, as the woman faked a fatal disease to travel and engaged in such experiences as hot air balloon rides, a fishing excursion in the Gulf of Mexico, watching a professional baseball game, a skydiving trip, and breast augmentation surgery while she was supposedly undergoing cancer treatment…
…and as a result of the donations from sympathetic good Samaritans who simply wanted to help a woman who claimed to be dying from cancer, Bennett scored — and apparently enjoyed — at least $25,000.00 worth of cash and freebies. That amount includes approximately $4,000.00 raised from a spaghetti dinner in her honor.
Bennett even walked as a cancer survivor in a special race event. “There are real cancer survivors walking, real people on chemo walking in those walks moving forward and she’s getting all of this accolade for putting herself out there in the midst of all her pain and agony,” Sandra Partridge — who is the chief assistant district attorney of Forsyth County — said in criticism of Bennett.
“I didn’t know how to stop it,” Bennett reportedly told the court. “It was like — uh — a snowball effect. It just got bigger and bigger. Honestly, I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t about the money. It was the mental illness.”
Reading from a prepared statement in which she apologized for her actions, Bennett said that she is “extremely remorseful that I hurt so many people and I wish more than anything that I could take it back.”
Partridge did not believe the explanation offered by Bennett because she allegedly started talking about suicide or child molestation only after questions surfaced about her claims of dying from cancer. Even the judge noted that Bennett could have chosen to tell another lie — that her cancer had disappeared — when the donations to her became out of control in order to end the deception.
As I have mentioned multiple times in past articles, I would very much like to take a trip to Antarctica — specifically, the South Pole — but I would never ever even think of deceiving people in an act of blatant fraud by faking a fatal illness or disease to raise funds for the trip…
…and Mary A. Bennett will be punished and prosecuted for her inexcusable and unacceptable actions.