Widow Suspected of Faking Cancer to Receive Donations

Police believe suspect had her friends organize a benefit party, held at a club in Tel Aviv and attended by celebrities.

A woman from Ramat Yishai was arrested this week on suspicion that she pretended to have cancer in order to receive donations from a charity that helps cancer victims.

The suspect, a 50 year-old-widow and mother of four, maintained a blog on the "TheMarker Cafe" website, where she described herself as a cancer victim desperately in need of $45,000 for surgery.

The suspect allegedly organized a benefit party in her honor last week, an event that was attended by around 300 people including singers and other celebrities. The suspect successfully raised NIS 20,000 at the benefit.

Police believe the suspect duped her friends as well, and had them organize fundraising, including the benefit party, held at a club in Tel Aviv with all cover charges going to the fake charity.

Head of the Northern Branch of the fraud investigation unit of the police Yigal Glaor, said that the suspect probably acted alone in the scam.

Police are expected to request the suspect be released from custody with restrictions, and for her name to be released so as to prevent her from acquiring more fraudulent donations.