Woman Charged With Defrauding Celebrities
Las Vegas, Nev. - A Las Vegas woman who allegedly told people she was dying from various forms of cancer in order to obtain money from certain celebrities and others, has been indicted on six counts of mail fraud, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
The Indictment alleges that beginning on about June 21, 2004, CHRISTINA L. ANDERSON, age 32, of Las Vegas, devised a scheme to defraud and obtain money by false and fraudulent pretenses by claiming that she was dying from leukemia, cervical cancer, thyroid cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and lymphoma. As part of the scheme, on about July 10, 2004, ANDERSON allegedly caused a third party to solicit donations for her at "benefit performances" held on her behalf in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, at which well-known entertainers performed. On August 12, 2004, ANDERSON attended the benefit performance held on her behalf in Los Angeles. The defendant cashed checks issued by the victim-donors at a check-cashing store.
In addition to claiming she was dying from various cancers, ANDERSON claimed that she needed money and that she had no medical insurance. ANDERSON is alleged to have received six checks in the mail from victim-donors totaling $31,030.
The Indictment was returned on Wednesday, February 16, 2005, but remained sealed until today in order to execute an arrest warrant for ANDERSON. She was arrested in Las Vegas this morning, and is expected to appear in court today for an initial hearing before United States Magistrate Judge Leavitt.
If convicted, ANDERSON is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.
The case is being investigated by Special Agents with the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Crane Pomerantz.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.