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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Highland Woman who Faked Breast Cancer and Genetic Disorders Pleads Guilty to Five Federal Felonies

A woman who falsely claimed she had breast cancer and genetic disorders to defraud nonprofits has
pleaded guilty. Sarah A. Delashmit, 35, of Highland, Illinois, appeared in federal district court
this morning and admitted her guilt on four counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud.

According to court documents, Delashmit falsely claimed she was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy
and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to attend Camp Summit, a nonprofit camp in Texas that serves
individuals with disabilities. In October 2015 and March 2016, based on her misrepresentations,
Camp Summit awarded Delashmit a spot as a camper and over $2,500 in financial aid. While at the
camp, Delashmit confined herself to a wheelchair and pretended to need assistance with most daily
activities, such as getting dressed and bathing, despite being fully able to walk and care for
herself. Delashmit admitted in court that her fraud prevented deserving people with real
disabilities from attending the camp and receiving financial assistance.

As part of her guilty plea, Delashmit also admitted falsely posing as a breast cancer survivor to
defraud the Young Survival Coalition (YSC), a New York-based nonprofit organization serving young
adults diagnosed with cancer. In 2017 and 2018, based on her misrepresentations, Delashmit received
over $1,000 in financial benefits and donated items, diverting YSC’s limited resources away from
real cancer survivors. In addition, Delashmit admitted making false statements to a credit card
company and an internet retailer to fraudulently obtain a $4,500 triathlon bicycle.

Sentencing will be held on Jan. 19, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. at the federal courthouse in East St. Louis,
Illinois. Delashmit faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each of the five
fraud charges.

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 October 13, 2020