GOSHEN, N.Y. – A woman who faked having cancer so donors would pay for her “dream wedding” and Caribbean honeymoon was released from jail Wednesday after paying back more than $13,000 to the people she duped.
Jessica Vega apologized in court for the scam and was sentenced to time served – the less than two months she had been behind bars since her arrest. She had pleaded guilty last month to charges of scheming to defraud and possession of a forged instrument.
Vega also was sentenced to five years of probation and must serve 300 hours of community service. She will enter substance abuse and mental health programs.
She was living in Montgomery, a town 60 miles north of New York City, when she began the scam, which picked up steam when her story was featured in a newspaper, the Times Herald-Record, of Middletown.
Residents of the area, touched by her claim to be dying of leukemia, had donated her dress, the wedding rings, an Aruba time-share for the honeymoon and more for her 2010 wedding to Michael O’Connell, the father of her baby.
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