Second woman accused of faking cancer to raise cash
Associated Press Writer
GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) – The police officer’s wife told a tragic tale of dying from cancer that elicited sympathy and donations from friends and neighbors, but authorities said Wednesday that it was all a ruse to fund her prescription drug habit.
Ann Crall, 31, of Highlands Ranch, raised about $60,000 over four years from her husband’s coworkers, their church, even families of their children’s schoolmates, according to an indictment. The suburban Denver woman faces six counts of theft, and one count each of charitable fraud and forgery.
Her husband, Richard Crall, also believed she had cancer, said John Moore, president of a foundation that donated $2,000 to the family and whose members held pig roasts and other fundraisers for Crall. Richard Crall does not face charges.
Crall’s ruse went on for years, with her updating donors about her treatment and cancer, and at one point saying her cancer was at stage IV, which meant it was spreading to other organs in her body, according to the indictment.
Her husband applied for financial help with Moore’s Lakewood Police Employees Assistance Foundation, but a department commander told him there was suspicion about whether his wife had cancer.
Officials with the foundation demanded proof, and got it in the form of a letter from a cancer hospital where Ann Crall allegedly was being treated. It was a forgery, according to the indictment.
“Everybody on the (foundation) board was looking at each other and saying, ‘I’m glad she’s alive and well,’ but here she had some type of cancer that we thought was supposed to be fatal,” Moore said. “You would think somebody would be losing their hair due to chemo or the drugs, loss of weight or something. You know, sick-looking.”
Those who saw her said she appeared healthy.
Crall’s case is the second such in recent months. Former college student Tausha Marsh was recently sentenced to jail, community service and probation after pleading guilty to faking cancer to raise more than $30,000.
Ann Crall was being held in a Douglas County jail south of Denver on $25,000 bail. She faces charges in Jefferson County, west of Denver, because that’s where most of the money was raised, district attorney spokeswoman Pam Russell said.
A message left at the jail for Crall and at her home for her husband were not immediately returned Wednesday.
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