Police arrest Utah mom for cancer fundraiser fraud

VERNAL, Utah (AP) — A woman accused of soliciting more than $3,000 in donations after falsely telling people her 4-year-old daughter had cancer has been arrested.

Police said 30-year-old Abreail Winkler of Vernal told people her daughter had leukemia and collected the money from fundraisers and individual donations.

Vernal Police began investigating Winkler in July and discovered her daughter had not been diagnosed or treated for any form of cancer. Winkler was arrested Tuesday, The Deseret News reported.

The girl’s father told police he had no knowledge of any cancer treatments or any diagnosis of leukemia. The little girl herself believed she had cancer, Detective Shaun Smith told the newspaper.

Smith also said some of those who gave money to Winkler had children of their own with legitimate cancer diagnoses.

Winkler was booked into Uintah County Jail on a felony fraud charge, police said in a statement.

Vernal Police did not release additional details Wednesday.

A listed number for Winkler could not be found, and it was unclear whether she had yet obtained an attorney.

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