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Cancer faker gets two years in jail

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RICHMOND, Va., Nov 10, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A Richmond, Va., woman who lied about having terminal cancer to friends and co-workers at the police department has been sentenced to two years in jail.

Suzannah Dirickson, 30, also was ordered to repay the $14,420 she received, mostly from police officers she had worked with as a receptionist, and must undergo mental health treatment.

In September, she pleaded guilty to four counts of obtaining money by false pretenses.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch said during her trial, it came out that Dirickson cut clumps out of her hair to make it look as though she was undergoing chemotherapy. Police said for five years, she told co-workers she was soon going to die of cancer of the bone, leg, brain and throat, police said. They held fundraisers and collected donations to help her pay for medications and the chemotherapy she said she needed.

In fact, she has only a mild case of asthma, and was using the money for an anti-depressant.

Dirickson read a brief statement at her sentencing Wednesday, saying she has turned her life over to God.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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