A former social worker from Delran may need more than a miracle to get her life back after allegedly pulling a money-making scam on her local community.
Lori Stilley is being charged with theft by deception after allegedly faking cancer and accepting over $10,000 to cover treatments.
According to NBC 10 Philadelphia, Burlington County authorities said Stilley told family and friends in February 2011 that she had Stage 3 bladder cancer and needed radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Months later she said that her condition had advanced to Stage 4, according to reports.
Stilley also allegedly claimed that she had no health insurance. So her supporters organized a t-shirt sale, a banquet and a cash raffle, to collect $9,400.
Philly.com reported that Stilley had a dying wish to marry her boyfriend before she died, and the Moorestown Community House lowered its price to $500 for Stilley. Her friends and family covered that expense.
Stilley also released an e-book about her battle with cancer that raised more than $3,000. According to authorities, there was even a calendar on Stilley's website, where supporters could sign up to deliver her home-cooked meals.
Stilley’s sister Lisa DiGiovanni began to put the pieces together in November 2011. Stilley allegedly posted a message online, saying she was feeling better, and believed “a miracle was coming."
Burlington County and Delran authorities said Stilley had never been diagnosed with cancer, or treated. "I really think that she's sick and she's needs help,” DiGiovanni said, according to Action News. “I can't imagine anybody in their right mind doing that.”
Stilley's family said they weren’t aware if her husband knew about the scheme, but her two young children definitely thought their mother was dying.