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Woman sentenced for robbing cancer patient

Aug. 22, 2009 at 3:27 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A 42-year-old woman will spend four years, nine months in prison for stealing more than $67,000 from a breast cancer patient, a Texas judge says.

The Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported Saturday that State District Judge Sharen Wilson sentenced Janice Gast to prison on forgery, felony theft and fraudulent use of identification charges.

Gast was accused of assuming the care of Jody Short of Mansfield, Texas, in order to gain access to the cancer patient's credit cards and bank accounts.

Authorities said during a period of nearly a year, Gast stole more than $67,000 from Short and forged the woman's name on multiple documents.

Short said at Monday's sentencing hearing in Criminal District Court No. 1 that Gast's actions were more devastating than her cancer, which she says is in remission.

"For the longest time, I thought that July 24, 2007, the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer, was the worst day of my life," Short, 60, said. "I now know that the worst day of my life was the day I let you walk through my front door.

"I now know that there is something worse than cancer, and that is you."

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