Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Australian jailed for fake cancer scam

Australian jailed for fake cancer scam Australian jailed for fake cancer scam
Melissa Porter | 12 April, 2018, 04:15

Hanna Dickenson had raised NZ$43,976 since she was 19 by convincing friends and family she had a rare cancer called soft tissue sarcoma.

Hanna's parents handed over money to their daughter but when it wasn't enough, they then went to family friends and requested thousands of dollars to help with Hanna's treatment.

They told of the moment Hanna's parents approached them for money. "We need forty grand desperately".

Two of her accomplices were convicted of similar charges, and were sentenced to three years and four years in prison.

Dickenson's boisterous online social life showed her out partying and on overseas trips. It also heard that Dickenson spent that money on holidays and socializing.

Upon leaving treatment for his own cancer, Bill Sandbrook transferred Dickenson more than $11,000.

Dickenson had "engaged in conduct that tears at the very heartstrings of human nature", magistrate David Starvaggi said during her sentencing, the BBC reported.

"It smacks of a Walter Mitty lifestyle", he said.

Melbourne Magistrates Court heard that Hanna Dickenson was partying hard and needed money to live a party lifestyle, involving drugs, alcohol, and global holidays.

Those donations, a total of more than $30,000 that the London Times says came from three different sources, ended up instead funding Dickenson's party lifestyle, including foreign vacations, which one suspicious donor eventually found proof of on Facebook.

She has also been order to pay her victims restitution.

She also compared the deception to one involving an Australian celebrity blogger, Belle Gibson, who was fined A$410,000 past year after falsely claiming to have beaten brain cancer.

But the magistrate did not agree.

Ms Lindsay argued Dickenson's offending was not as bad, as she had only asked her parents for money and had not been purporting to help other cancer sufferers.