Prosecutors in Suffolk County, N.Y. say Brittany Ozarowski, 21, solicited tens of thousands of dollars in donations for cancer treatment to support her heroin habit, CBS New York reported Wednesday.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota indicted Ozarowski on fraud charges after what he called a "despicable scam."
“There was no cancer, no chemotherapy, no radiation and no medical bills. There was just heroin,” Spota said.
Ozarowski reportedly kept up the charade for more than a year, asking people to donate money to treat what she said were cases of bone, brain, ovarian and stomach cancer. She posted photos of herself in a wheelchair to a Facebook page and website, raised money in supermarkets and local stores.
According to PIX 11, thousands of Long Islanders gave Ozarowski money.
“She told me (she had) special treatments, that’s why she wasn’t losing her hair,” local resident Elizabeth Patricola said.
"I was cancer free until they had found a tumor on my left hip in February 2012." Ozarowski wrote on her website. "That is when I found out that I have bone cancer. The cancer has spread to my spine as well as my brain."
"No donation is too big nor too small, anything at all would help greatly. If there is anyway you can help to donate anything or help with fundraising it would be greatly appreciated very much by both my family and I. Thank you very much for taking your time to read my story."
CBS New York said Ozarowski even scammed her grandmother, who sold her home to pay for fake cancer treatments.