southern Illinois

Illinois Woman Sentenced to 18 Months Prison in Medical Hoax

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A 36-year-old southern Illinois woman has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison in a medical hoax that tricked people who gave her money and other benefits.

Sarah Delashmit of Highland pleaded guilty in October to multiple fraud charges after authorities claimed she defrauded nonprofit organizations by pretending to have muscular dystrophy and breast cancer.

She must pay a $1,250 fine, forfeit items she received and pay about $7,600 in restitution. After her release, she must serve three years of court supervision.

“Miss Delashmit deceived and manipulated individuals and families facing terminal illness and debilitating disorders, and nonprofit organizations and volunteers who serve those individuals," U.S. District Court Judge Staci M. Yandle said at the sentencing hearing earlier this month. "She accepted donations and allowed volunteers to care for her when she did not need or deserve that care. She took resources from those who did.”

Authorities say the offenses took place between 2015 and 2019, but evidence at the hearing showed she'd participated in similar hoaxes back to 2006.

A message left Sunday for her attorney wasn’t returned.

In 2019, Delashmit told the “Dr. Phil” television show that she had a “lying addiction.”

“I’ve done all kinds of extreme measures to make my life seem more exciting,” she said. “Growing up you always want to have that perfect life. All my friends were getting married, and it made me feel left out."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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