Local News

Fayetteville woman accused of scamming support group

Posted September 15, 2008 4:00 p.m. EDT
Updated September 15, 2008 8:18 p.m. EDT

— Raleigh police have issued an arrest warrant for a Fayetteville woman who allegedly scammed a local support group for divorcees out of more than $6,000.

But Fayetteville police cannot find her.

Margaret Irene Haithcock, 51, of 655 Monogan St., allegedly made up stories about having cancer and her son dying in Iraq to get money from the group, which held several events to raise money for her and held a memorial service for her son.

"And she stood there and acted like he was dead," said John Black, a member of the group. "It was the end of her life. She was upset."

According to the arrest warrant, Haithcock's actions "were intended to deceive the group into providing monetary donations for issues which were made up entirely."

Black says he and other members of the support group began challenging the validity of Haithcock's story late last year and eventually went to police.

"Obviously, this occurred over a period of time, and it included more than one appeal for help and support," Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

Sughrue said she might have had cancer at some point, but that the extent to which she explained her situation is false.

After months of investigating, Raleigh investigators issued a warrant for her arrest in June.

When Fayetteville police went to the home listed on the warrant in July, her ex-boyfriend said she was gone and had told him she was in a mental hospital. Privacy laws prevent authorities from confirming the story.

According to the Department of Correction, Haithcock has served time in prison under a different name for forgery, credit card theft and credit card fraud.

Anyone who knows Haithcock's whereabouts is asked to call police.