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Cancer scam: Woman guilty on 24 counts in scam, heroin addiction the real issue

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A cancer scam left a woman pleading guilty on 24 counts of criminal activity after the 21-year-old said she had cancer in order to get donated money to feed her heroin addiction. Brittany Ozarowski purposely made supportive contacts in her local community in order to win people over and take their money, eventually receiving over $10,000 in charity, only to reveal she didn’t use the cash for cancer treatment, but for the illegal drug at the time, ABC News shares this Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.

The cancer scam left the court judge without much pity for the 21-year-old manipulator at first, but did take her situation into account, showing a just decision by the end of the case. According to prosecutors yesterday in the Brittany Ozarowski trial, the young woman was telling local businesses and community figures that she was struggling to make ends meet with her expensive cancer treatments. Since she was a heroin addict, however, the woman’s emaciated appearance, not topping 90 pounds, and her use of props (like carrying a cane) while leaving donation jars at doors did not look initially suspicious.

Like many cons, however, before long the cancer scam was brought to the public light, and Ozarowski pleaded guilty this Monday in local Suffolk County Court to the heavy 24-count indictment. Some of her charges include forgery, excessive manipulation, and grand larceny, said the district attorney’s office spokesperson.

While the judge had the option of giving her a total of seven years behind bars for the cruel cancer scam, he instead decided to sentence the 21-year-old to two full years in an intensive drug treatment program, as well as a third year’s probation under the eyes of the law. Brittany Ozarowski hails from Miller’s Place, a 60 mile drive from New York City, and will also need to pay back the $10,000 that she received in donations for faking that she had cancer to support her heroin addiction.

The accused woman’s attorney, George Duncan, said it's "an appropriate sentence given the nature of her offenses, which were morally reprehensible … Her acceptance into a judicial diversion program is exactly what she needs.”

The attorney added that his client is no longer using heroin since she was arrested for the cancer scam crime back in April. He added that Brittany “looks like a totally different person. She's terribly remorseful. She's horrified and embarrassed."

The 21-year-old’s next court date will be this upcoming Monday.

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