The cancer scam by a Long Island heroin addict proved extremely profitable; at least for a while. The 21-year-old woman’s cancer scam included telling friends, neighbors, and business people in her community in Miller Place that she had cancer when in fact she used the money for her heroin addiction. On Monday, the 21-year-old heroin addict entered a guilty plea “to a 24-count indictment,” reported 4New York on Dec. 12, 2013.
The 21-year-old woman’s cancer scam, which began in March of 2012, didn’t happen over the internet, as many scams nowadays do, but Brittany Ozarowski actually hobbled from store to store in her community leaving behind donation jars.
Weighing only 80 pounds, no one suspected that the girl hobbling on a cane was running a cancer scam and that she was using the donated money, mostly cash, for her heroin addiction. When community members asked the 21-year-old why she hadn’t lost her hair due to the cancer, she said that she was taking special vitamins. Seeing the poor young woman suffering, community members willingly donated to her alleged “cancer treatments” and some people even organized community fundraisers to help her.
Brittany Ozarowski’s cancer scam came to an end when a community member offered the 21-year-old to pay for her treatments and made an appointment for her with a neurologist at Stony Brook Medical Center.
But, of course, the 21-year-old heroin addict didn’t show up.
In April of 2013, more than a year after she had begun her cancer scam, Brittany Ozarowski was arrested and charged with grand larceny, forgery and several other charges. The forgery charges were linked to doctor’s notes written to seek postponement of court dates from four prior arrests dating back to 2010.
After her arrest, Brittany Ozarowski stopped using heroin. When she appeared in front of the judge, the hobbling cancer-scamming heroin addict looked like a different person and was remorseful, horrified, and embarrassed for having used people’s sympathy to scam them out of their money.
Even though the prosecutor had asked for a prison term of up to seven years, a judge allowed Brittany Ozarowski to enter a drug treatment program for as much as two years. The judge also said that the former heroin addict will have to repay the more than $10,000 earned with her cancer scam.