Woman Who Defrauded Celebrities by Claiming She Was Suffering from Cancer Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud
Las Vegas, Nev. - A Las Vegas woman who told people she was dying from various forms of cancer in order to obtain money from certain celebrities and others, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to one count of felony mail fraud, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
CHRISTINA L. ANDERSON, age 33, of Las Vegas, admitted that she fraudulently obtained money from several celebrities by claiming that she was suffering from cancer, even though she had not been diagnosed with or treated for cancer. Between July 22, 2004, and August 25, 2004, for the purposes of executing the scheme to defraud, ANDERSON caused six checks totaling $31,030 to be delivered by mail to Las Vegas. Five of the checks were payable to ANDERSON; one of the checks was payable to a Mark Cohen.
ANDERSON was indicted on February 16, 2005. The indictment alleged that in addition to claiming she was dying of cancer, she needed money and had no medical insurance. On about July 10, 2004, ANDERSON caused a third party to organize benefit performances that were held on her behalf in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, at which well-known entertainers performed. She also caused a third party to solicit donations on her behalf. On August 12, 2004, ANDERSON attended a benefit performance held on her behalf in Los Angeles. She cashed checks issued by the victim-donors at a check-cashing store.
ANDERSON has agreed to make restitution to the victims in the amount of $44,830. She is released on a personal recognizance bond, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, March 10, 2006, at 9:00 a.m. by U.S. District Judge Lloyd D. George. Under federal statutes, she faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case is being investigated by Special Agents with the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Crane M. Pomerantz.