Woman Allegedly Fakes Leukemia To Get Free Wedding

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Woman Allegedly Fakes Leukemia To Get Free Wedding

More weird news and scam wedding / cancer fakeroos.

There are a few things that really make people mad when you pretend to have them for preferential behavior. These include famous friends, unrealistic sexual exploits, combat experience, and serious diseases.

Case in point: in 2010, a woman allegedly faked Leukemia in order to get a dream wedding in New York and a honeymoon in Aruba.

And, boy, were people mad when they found out. I mean, how could they not be angry?

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According to reports, Jessica Vega's husband, Michael O'Connell (now ex-husband), says his ex-wife lied.

O'Connell claims his former love even had him convinced that she had cancer! “I had to prepare for her to die,” he said at the time.

And he wasn't alone. Following a newspaper article, the public outpoured their support by financing the couple's dream wedding plus Caribbean honeymoon.

Many were willing to help the young couple make their dreams come true in the face of illness.

O'Connell and Vega also had a child, who was just a baby at the time.

However, O'Connell became suspicious when Vega never became physically worse, despite having what he thought was a terminal illness.

His suspicions were confirmed when he called the cancer doctor. "Jessica Vega who?" was pretty much his response.

The doctor had even sent O'Connell a letter, which confirmed that Vega had never been a patient and the whole diagnosis was fake.

A receptionist backed up the doctor, telling O'Connell, “I can tell you for sure this person was never a patient here.”

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But Vega had a different story. She, in turn, alleged abuse on his part and maintained that she was innocent of any fake-outs.

She said, “I don’t think he really wants to go down that route of me exposing him.”

The story got pretty conflicting from there with quite a few misrememberings. You'd think something like Leukemia vs. no Leukemia would be a pretty easy thing to settle, right?

Luckily, Vega got her comeuppance for her unethical actions.

Eventually, she was sentenced to prison under fraud charges, but was released in spring 2012 after two months in jail.

She was also required to pay over $13,000 in restitution to all the people she had lied to, including the people at the wedding shop, who had given her everything for free.

The New York Attorney General released a statement in May 2012, saying, "To prey on people's emotions by pretending to have a terminal illness is unconscionable. I am pleased that the community members, who felt so compelled to generously help a neighbor in need, will be given back their hard earned money."

And to add a plot twist? Vega and O'Connell reportedly reconciled in June 2012. Well, I guess love does heal all wounds?

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Tom Miller is a writer and performer based in New York. He's been the general manager and coordinating video producer at YourTango for 12 years. His side-chick is acting and improvised comedy.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on September 8, 2010 and was updated with the latest information.

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