Brittany Ozarowski, a 22-year old drug addict from Medford, NY has pleased guilty to 24 counts of fraud after admitting to bilking more than $10,000 from good Samaritans who thought they were making donations to help her get medical care for cancer treatments. Instead, they were unwittingly helping finance her addiction to heroin.
Ozarowski (who was arrested in April) not only told people she had cancer, she actually conned at least 25 business owners into placing donation jars in their stores, sought donations on facebook and talked others into holding fundraisers during a two-year scam. During that time her stories often changed as to the type of cancer she had, from brain cancer to ovarian cancer, as well as bone and stomach cancer.
By pleading guilty to all indictments, her lawyer George Duncan was able to negotiate a deal with Suffolk County Court Judge John Iliou to have her placed under the “judicial diversion treatment”, meaning she will have to complete two years of both in-patient and put-patient drug treatment, as well as be put on probation and perform community service for a third year. She will also have to pay restitution for the $10,000.
“If she fails treatment or probation she will be put in prison for up to three years on the felony counts of first degree scheme to defraud, third-degree grand larceny and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, plus an additional degree on the misdemeanor charges,” stated Robert Clifford, a spokesman for the county’s DA, who noted that prosecutors had originally asked for a prison sentence of 7 years.