A mother, 29, who scammed a community out of $25,000 after lying about her son, 6, having terminal bone cancer is sentenced to probation

I have known people throughout my life who live in a world wholly in their own imagination. This woman convinced herself, everyone around her and even the child himself that her child had cancer. Now she is on 5 years probation, serving 90 nights in jail and she has lost her children. Reality bites. This looks like Münchausen syndrome by proxy to me. It’s definitely a form of child abuse, but this woman has a mental problem as well.


Sentenced: Sandy Nguyen, 29, pleaded guilty to charitable fraud and child abuse after the scam.

From the Daily Mail:

A mother who lied about her son having cancer to more than $25,000 in charitable contributions will serve five years of probation and spend 90 nights in jail on work release.

Sandy Nguyen, from Aurora, Colorado, was sentenced on Tuesday after pleading guilty to one count each of charitable fraud and child abuse, KUSA reported.

Police say she convinced her six-year-old son, family and others in the community that the boy had bone cancer and had been receiving treatment since about September 2012.

At the time of her arrest in March, she was pregnant and her child was taken away from her in light of the criminal case – although it is not yet known if she will get her children back.

She started falsely telling members of her community that the boy had been diagnosed the previous April with ‘an aggressive, rare, stage 3 childhood bone cancer and Acute Myelogenous Leukemia’.

There were even times the boy and everyone else believed he’d gone into remission and once when Nguyen, 29, allegedly said the ‘he probably only had 8 more months with them’.

The community also held a 5K charity walk for the boy. The event’s page notes that he was ‘fighting cancer for the 3rd time’.

Photos from Nguyen’s Facebook page also reportedly showed a boy both with hair and a bald head, as if he had endured chemotherapy. The page has since been removed.

Various community and school fundraisers raised some $25,000 for the family, and police say Nguyen used some of the money to pay for a family trip to Disneyland.

But the scheme began to unravel after a doctor at Children’s Hospital of Denver’s oncology unit overheard her talking about her son but did not recognize his name.

After checking records at the hospital, investigators found out the youngster hadn’t been treated for cancer at the hospital, but that he had seen doctors for less serious ailments.

All the money was recovered and she is fighting to get her children back. But I don’t see where anyone has addressed the fact that she is obviously disturbed. If she can slip into a false reality once, she can do it again and next time maybe the children or her won’t be so lucky. Habitual lying sometimes is a sign of someone who can’t deal with reality itself. It becomes a way of life and the lies are more real to them than actual circumstances. When questioned, they remember the fabrication, not the actual events. It is a cry for help – I hope someone is listening.

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at NoisyRoom.net. She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - trevorloudon.com. She also does research at KeyWiki.org. You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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