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Press Release

Faking Breast Cancer and Genetic Disorders Leads to Prison Sentence for Highland Woman

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois

Sarah A. Delashmit, 36, of Highland, Illinois, was sentenced this week to 18 months in

federal prison and 3 years of court supervision after her release. Last October, Delashmit pleaded

guilty to multiple fraud charges after spending years defrauding nonprofit organizations by falsely

posing as person with muscular dystrophy and a breast cancer survivor to receive money, donated

items, and other benefits. The charged offenses took place between 2015 and 2019, but evidence

presented at sentencing established that Delashmit had engaged in similar scams going back as far

as 2006.

During the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Staci M. Yandle described the

gravity of Delashmit’s offense conduct: “Miss Delashmit deceived and manipulated individuals

and families facing terminal illness and debilitating disorders, and nonprofit organizations and

volunteers who serve those individuals. She preyed on these communities by posing as someone

with muscular dystrophy or a mother who was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal breast cancer. She

exploited people’s trust, their kindness, their sympathy and their generosity for her own benefit.

She accepted donations and allowed volunteers to care for her when she did not need or deserve

that care. She took resources from those who did.”

Judge Yandle’s comments came after the court heard moving statements from two victims:

one who befriended Delashmit while believing she was dying of cancer and another who cared for

Delashmit while she pretended to be wheelchair bound at a camp for people with disabilities.

As part of the sentence, Judge Yandle ordered Delashmit to pay a $1,250 fine, forfeit

several items she received through her scheme, and make full restitution of $7,629 to the nonprofit

organizations and others she defrauded.

The investigation was conducted by the Highland Police Department, the FBI, and the

United States Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States

Attorney Luke J. Weissler.

Updated January 25, 2021