Metro East woman accused of faking cancer sentenced to 18 months in prison
Posted July 25
Troy, IL — A Metro East woman who pleaded guilty after being accused of trying to scam people for money by claiming her and her son had cancer has been sentenced.
Melissa D. Barton, of Troy, Illinois, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for theft by deception and ordered to pay $1,290 in restitution. After being released from prison, she will be on a 30-month probation period.
"The defendant in this case played on the emotions of donors and fraudulently collected funds that should have gone to community members that are actually impacted by cancer and other illnesses," said State's Attorney Gibbons. "I'd like to thank the officers with the Troy Police Department, whose investigative work on this case allowed us to come to a successful resolution."
In 2016, the 29-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of theft by deception over $500. Police said she solicited money from numerous donors.
After being arrested in 2014, Barton said she did not create any of the fundraisers, which were posted on the sites "youcaring.com" and "wepay.com."
"I would never do that. The fundraisers that were made in my name were made by people that did not ask my permission," said Barton. "I had a scare last year in October ... and I kinda jumped to conclusions quickly."
Barton also said she asked the church for money because she was having financial problems, not because she had cancer.
Numerous viewers told News 4 there were several videos that appeared to contradict Barton's story.
"This has got to be one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, asking for help. I just want to show all of you my thankfulness, my gratitude," Barton said in one of the videos. "As of right now, I do have all of my hair, in a couple days, I probably won't. It has started to fall out."
"I went for my treatment this morning. I took it like a champ," she said in another video.
Barton did not respond to News 4's request for a comment after the videos surfaced.