A Colorado woman who allegedly convinced her young son he had cancer is accused of scamming more than $25,000 out of her family and the local community.
Sandy Nguyen, 28, was arrested Thursday. She allegedly told her 6-year-old son – along with the community — that he was diagnosed with cancer in September, 2012, 9 News reports.
Money collected by Nguyen through school fundraisers and other donations was used to finance a trip to Disneyland.
Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Captain Larry Etheridge told ABC7 that at this time, Nguyen is believed to be the only one who knew it was a scam.
“We don’t have any reason to believe that anyone other than her knew the truth,” Ethridge said. “The little boy believed he had cancer. The rest of the family believed he had cancer.”
When investigators issued a search warrant of Nguyen’s home on Thursday, they said they found $23,000 in cash. Police say Nguyen then admitted that her son doesn’t actually have cancer.
According to a website promoting a charity walk for the little boy, in June 2013 the child’s family was “told he probably only had 8 more months with them.”
Nguyen faces two felony charges of theft and criminal impersonation.
Just last year there were two other reported cases of mothers who convinced their children they had cancer.
In August of last year, 31-year-old Emily Creno allegedly told her 4-year-old son he was going to die, and subjected him to numerous, unnecessary medical tests in the hoax.
In September of last year, 32-year-old mother of seven, Stephanie Weddle, was accused of scamming $2,000 in donations after telling people her child was dying of cancer. She is accused of using the money for minor purchases, including buying gas for her car.