Thursday, June 22, 2017

Woman accused of faking cancer, receiving donations

Updated: Jun 22, 2017

A Rhode Island woman was arrested for allegedly receiving money through a GoFundMe to help with her fake cancer diagnosis.

In May of 2016, the financial crimes unit began investigating a report that a woman was asking for money under false pretenses. Their investigation revealed that 35-year-old Alicia Pierini had told her friends and family she had brain cancer, and one of her friends started a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses.

Rhode Island State Police said that many contributed to the GoFundMe or to Pierini directly, in total about $28,000.

However, as time went on, some became suspicious.

Detectives said they confirmed she had never been a patient at any of the cancer treatment facilities or doctors she said she was attending.

The Woonsocket resident was charged with obtaining money under false pretenses over $1,500 and access to computer for fraudulent purposes.

She was arraigned and released on $40,000 personal recognizance.

GoFundMe will be reimbursing the individuals who donated directly to the account.


If you believe you were a victim in this case, Rhode Island Police are asking you to call the Financial Crimes Unit at 401-444-1201.

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