Utah mom charged in cancer fundraiser fraud

VERNAL, Utah (AP) — A Vernal woman has been formally charged after police say she falsely told people her 4-year-old daughter had cancer and solicited more than $3,000 in donations.

Thirty-year-old Abreail Winkler was charged Tuesday with one count of felony communication fraud. She’s set to appear in court Sept. 9.

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 Aug. 13.

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

Authorities say Winkler received money from fundraising events and personal donors, including people whose own children had legitimate cancer diagnoses.

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