Former 'Cancer Patient' Charged With Theft, Deception, Forgery

Former 'Cancer Patient' Charged With Theft, Deception, Forgery

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Samantha Hayes reportingOne mention of the word "cancer" and most people do whatever they can to help. That was the case when neighbors and friends of a West Jordan woman found out she had the disease.

But it turns out she was lying about it, and is now facing criminal charges.

Tonia Clark was charged with several counts of theft by deception and forgery. Police say she told people she had cancer and asked for money to treat it.

Tania Clark seemed to be handling it all gracefully. The 27-year-old wife and mother worked at Oakcrest Elementary School, managed her boys' hockey team, and was battling cancer. People admired her.

Bob Garcia/Hockey Coach: "It's always tough to find someone that is willing to spend the time and energy to do administrative duties of the team."

So when Clark asked parents on the team for help, they opened their hearts and their wallets.

Bob Garcia: "All of us had become brothers and sisters to her."

Garcia showed us an email. sent January 9th. In it, Clark says: "I have been fighting Myeloma since 1999. Until now, I was not a candidate for a bone marrow transfusion and had no chance for long term survival. Now, with your gift, it will enable me to go forth with this scheduled procedure and look to living a long life cancer free."

She also asked Oakcrest Elementary for help.

Norman Emerson/Oakcrest Elementary Principal: "Tania made it known she needed over $62,000 as a copayment for a bone marrow transplant."

So the school organized a fundraiser and collected $5,078.

But on February 19, some of those who donated to Clark's cause received this email: "I am not having a bone marrow transplant, never was. I am not sure how the lie started or even why. I hope I will be able to answer that someday..."

Those involved just hope Clark, the woman who seemed to be able to do anything, is never able to do this again.

Bob Garcia: "Somebody else doesn't have to go through the same stuff we've had to go through. Hopefully we've exposed it and protected other people from getting stung by it."

School administators found out about the hoax when they tried to give Clark the money through the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Turns out she didn't have an account there.

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